What people are saying about how to combat Sunni insurgency

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, editorial: "Americans can assume that Secretary of State John Kerry was in Baghdad Monday to see if Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki could make a case that would justify further U.S. support. ... What Washington should be seeking is not to save Maliki and his Shiite government but to establish lines to what is coming in Iraq — Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite segments, each with different governments in place."

Robin Wright, The New Yorker: "President Obama told CNN on Friday, 'There's no amount of American firepower that's going to be able to hold the country together, and I've made that very clear to Mr. Maliki.' ... Maliki's role is not the only leadership issue; the presidency is also up for grabs. President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, suffered a stroke 18 months ago. ... The presidency has been one of the political incentives keeping the Kurds in the coalition. Giving the post to the Sunnis, in the hope of retaining their support, could cost Iraq Kurdistan."

Peter Galbraith, Politico: "The United States should stop asking the Kurds to help save Iraq because Iraq is not saveable, and, if it were, the Kurds would not want to save it. Instead, the critical U.S. interest has now become stopping the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria. If ISIS is not defeated, there will be in western Iraq and eastern Syria a transnational terrorist state controlling large cities and with vast recruiting potential. Seen in this context, U.S. diplomatic recognition of an independent Kurdistan has become a very small price to pay."

Doug Bandow, Forbes: "The situation is not nearly as threatening for Washington as for Baghdad. So far, ISIS has acted as an insurgency in both Syria and Iraq, not a terrorist group targeting America. ... Another war on Muslims would make even more enemies of America. Indeed, targeting Sunni areas would mean killing people, including non-combatants, who once allied with Washington against al-Qaeda. ... The U.S. cannot escape blowback if it joins another Mideast conflict."

Dennis Ross, Los Angeles Times:"There will be no effective or enduring answer to the ISIS threat in Iraq without also taking steps in Syria to deny it a sanctuary and a recruiting base. ... It is time for the United States to assume the responsibility of quarterbacking the entire assistance effort to ensure that more meaningful aid — lethal, training, intelligence, money and humanitarian."

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