Crisis in Iraq

Control of terrain in iraq: july 7, 2014

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The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is closely monitoring the events in Iraq, and believes that the following resources will be informative for policymakers, lawmakers, and the general public.

 


From the Foreign Policy Initiative

  • What To Do In Iraq - FPI Board Member Bill Kristol and AEI's Fred Kagan - The Weekly Standard - June 16, 2017

 


From The Institute for the Study of War


Resources from Around the Web

  • Jihadist vs. Jihadist - Daniel nisman and Ron Gilran - Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - June 24, 2014
  • Obama's Iraq Feint - Editorial Board - Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - June 19, 2014

 


Today's News from the FPI Overnight Brief - July 7, 2014

Ukraine
 
Under the attentive eye of Russian state television, several hundred pro-Russian demonstrators in the city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, declared on Monday that they were forming an independent republic and urged President Vladimir V. Putin to send troops to the region as a peacekeeping force, even though there was no imminent threat to peace. – New York Times
 
Ukrainian Interior Ministry troops expelled pro-Russian demonstrators from a regional administration building in the eastern city of Kharkiv early on Tuesday, arresting about 70 protesters as the provisional government in Kiev moved to exert control over unrest that the United States and its Western allies fear might lead to a Russian military invasion. – New York Times
 
The White House warned Russia Monday against trying to claim more territory in Ukraine “overtly or covertly” and suggested that pro-Russian demonstrators who seized government buildings in three Ukrainian cities over the weekend were paid by Moscow. – Washington Times
 
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted the Obama administration on Monday for not providing military aid to Ukraine, arguing that it could invite further aggression from Russia. – The Hill’s Global Affairs
 
Ukraine’s richest man sought to end a worsening stand-off between the government and pro-Russian separatists as Moscow accused Kiev of pushing the country towards civil war. – Financial Times
 
Russian natural gas producer Gazprom said on Tuesday Ukraine had failed to pay for its March gas supplies on time but did not say whether the company would take any action against Kiev. - Reuters
 
EU officials will meet Ukraine's energy minister on Tuesday as well as review the bloc's own gas storage levels as fears grow that rising tensions between Moscow and Kiev might lead to a cut-off of gas supplies. - Reuters
 
Reverse flows of natural gas from Europe to Ukraine to help it handle Russian price increases and supply cuts would be possible within hours once the infrastructure is in place, but the flows could require approval from Russia's Gazprom first. - Reuters
 
Editorial: President Obama said in Brussels last month that, "If the Russian leadership stays on its current course, together, we will ensure that this isolation deepens. Sanctions will expand, and the toll on Russia's economy, as well as its standing in the world, will only increase." The U.S. and Europe have since done little to nothing to make Mr. Putin believe that those words are anything more than another meaningless red line. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
Mario Loyola writes: The defense of NATO cannot start at NATO's borders. Collective defense means the defense of collective vital interests, wherever they may be. And that's why, like it or not, the Ukraine crisis has landed on NATO's front burner. The Russians have no intention of going to war with NATO. But they may well continue annexing territory until NATO stops them. – Foreign Policy
 
Russia
 
NATO is increasing the number of fighter jets and surveillance aircraft supporting U.S. allies in Eastern Europe, but some Republicans remain critical of the Obama administration for not taking a more proactive posture toward what they describe as Russian war-gaming in the region. – Washington Times
 
President Vladimir Putin told his security chiefs on Monday to ensure Russia does not follow what he said was Ukraine's example by letting the West use local civil rights groups to foment unrest. - Reuters
 
Eli Lake reports: Tensions between Russia and the West are hitting a new peak. And in this face-off, Moscow has an extraordinary piece of leverage: a super-sophisticated, bomber-killing missile that it once threatened to sell to Iran. – The Daily Beast
 
Bret Stephens writes: Mr. Obama has a habit of underestimating his foes. He thought al Qaeda was on the run. He thought Bashar Assad would be gone by now. He thinks Iran will abandon its nuclear programs in exchange for sanctions relief. He thinks of Vladimir Putin as the kid with the bored expression, slouching in the back of the classroom. News for the law professor. That kid is smarter than you are. He's bored because you bore him. He's about to eat your lunch. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required) - See more at: http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/overnightbrief040814#sthash.weeH6kHe.dpuf
Ukraine
 
While much uncertainty still reigns in Ukraine, which is in dire economic straits and hoping to restore political normalcy with presidential elections set for May 25, its military is racing to figure out how to avoid another debacle at the hands of its giant neighbor. – Associated Press
 
The Kiev government will stick to unpopular austerity measures "as the price of independence" as Russia steps up pressure on Ukraine to destabilise it, including by raising the price of gas, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk told Reuters. - Reuters
 
Ukraine's economy could grow by 3 percent in 2015 if the government stabilizes its shaky public finances and undertakes structural reforms, World Bank analyst Anastasia Holovach said on Friday. - Reuters
 
Russia raised the gas price for Ukraine on Thursday for the second time this week, almost doubling it in three days and piling pressure on a neighbor on the brink of bankruptcy in the crisis over Crimea. - Reuters
 
Europe's aviation safety authority warned on Thursday of "serious risks" for international airlines flying over Crimea because there may be two services managing airspace there after the region's annexation by Russia. - Reuters
 
Stephen F. Hayes writes: A new Gallup poll of Ukrainians undermines the main rationale for Russia’s aggression towards its neighbor and calls into question the U.S. approach to diplomacy with the Russians, which treats some of the Russian claims as legitimate. The findings of the national survey also cast further doubt on the results of the recent referendum on Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula. – The Weekly Standard
 
Irwin M. Stelzer writes: It is a decade since America confronted the question of just how much financial assistance to provide Iraq, then burdened with billions in debt incurred by the Saddam Hussein regime. Now we face a similar problem in Ukraine, the important difference being that Iraq’s huge but mismanaged oil reserves gave it some prospect of repaying loans sooner rather than later, whereas the tapped-out Ukrainian economy has a long way to go before it will be financially viable. – The Weekly Standard
 
Russia
 
Russian authorities signaled on Wednesday that the country had weathered the worst of an economic storm caused by the annexation of Crimea, but acknowledged the crisis had taken a toll on growth and driven up inflation. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
With its economy reeling from the geopolitical crisis sparked by its annexation of Crimea, Moscow is turning to Asia for help. “The Asia-Pacific region is the centre of world economic growth,” said economy minister Alexei Ulyukaev. “We have not developed co-operation with these regions as actively as we would have liked.” – Financial Times
 
Russia detained 25 Ukrainian citizens on suspicion of plotting terror attacks on its soil, state media reported on Thursday night. – Financial Times
 
Russia has recalled its top military representative to NATO for consultations, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday, widening the rift between Moscow and the Western alliance over Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. - Reuters
 
Cathy Young writes: If Ukraine’s fledgling democracy survives the Russian threat, its extremist problem will likely be contained. Not so in Russia, where the rot of far-right nationalism currently starts at the top. – The Weekly Standard Blog - See more at: http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/overnightbrief040414#sthash.bwQNd9uR.dpuf
Ukraine
 
While much uncertainty still reigns in Ukraine, which is in dire economic straits and hoping to restore political normalcy with presidential elections set for May 25, its military is racing to figure out how to avoid another debacle at the hands of its giant neighbor. – Associated Press
 
The Kiev government will stick to unpopular austerity measures "as the price of independence" as Russia steps up pressure on Ukraine to destabilise it, including by raising the price of gas, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk told Reuters. - Reuters
 
Ukraine's economy could grow by 3 percent in 2015 if the government stabilizes its shaky public finances and undertakes structural reforms, World Bank analyst Anastasia Holovach said on Friday. - Reuters
 
Russia raised the gas price for Ukraine on Thursday for the second time this week, almost doubling it in three days and piling pressure on a neighbor on the brink of bankruptcy in the crisis over Crimea. - Reuters
 
Europe's aviation safety authority warned on Thursday of "serious risks" for international airlines flying over Crimea because there may be two services managing airspace there after the region's annexation by Russia. - Reuters
 
Stephen F. Hayes writes: A new Gallup poll of Ukrainians undermines the main rationale for Russia’s aggression towards its neighbor and calls into question the U.S. approach to diplomacy with the Russians, which treats some of the Russian claims as legitimate. The findings of the national survey also cast further doubt on the results of the recent referendum on Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula. – The Weekly Standard
 
Irwin M. Stelzer writes: It is a decade since America confronted the question of just how much financial assistance to provide Iraq, then burdened with billions in debt incurred by the Saddam Hussein regime. Now we face a similar problem in Ukraine, the important difference being that Iraq’s huge but mismanaged oil reserves gave it some prospect of repaying loans sooner rather than later, whereas the tapped-out Ukrainian economy has a long way to go before it will be financially viable. – The Weekly Standard
 
Russia
 
Russian authorities signaled on Wednesday that the country had weathered the worst of an economic storm caused by the annexation of Crimea, but acknowledged the crisis had taken a toll on growth and driven up inflation. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
With its economy reeling from the geopolitical crisis sparked by its annexation of Crimea, Moscow is turning to Asia for help. “The Asia-Pacific region is the centre of world economic growth,” said economy minister Alexei Ulyukaev. “We have not developed co-operation with these regions as actively as we would have liked.” – Financial Times
 
Russia detained 25 Ukrainian citizens on suspicion of plotting terror attacks on its soil, state media reported on Thursday night. – Financial Times
 
Russia has recalled its top military representative to NATO for consultations, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday, widening the rift between Moscow and the Western alliance over Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. - Reuters
 
Cathy Young writes: If Ukraine’s fledgling democracy survives the Russian threat, its extremist problem will likely be contained. Not so in Russia, where the rot of far-right nationalism currently starts at the top. – The Weekly Standard Blog
Ukraine
 
Uncertain of Russian President Vladimir Putin's intentions in Ukraine, the Obama administration is preparing a menu of responses that range from expanded economic sanctions to possible military deployments in Europe to reassure anxious allies, U.S. officials say. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
Ukraine’s military has an urgent need for nonlethal military assistance like body armor, night-vision goggles, communications gear and aviation fuel to defend against a potential Russian attack, according to a new analysis by a former NATO commander and a former Pentagon official. But wary of provoking Russia, the Obama administration has been reluctant to provide it, they say. – New York Times
 
The White House said Tuesday that President Obama will not send lethal military equipment to Ukraine, even as the new pro-Western government in Kiev began a counteroffensive to recapture ground in eastern Ukraine that had been occupied by pro-Russian militia forces. – Washington Times
 
The Ukrainian military landed airborne troops at an airport about 25 miles south of here on Tuesday, raising tensions with Russia in the opening phase of what the government in Kiev called a wider military operation to confront pro-Russian militants in the eastern part of the country. – New York Times
 
The opening phase of what the Ukrainian government has called a military operation to confront pro-Russian militants suffered a setback Wednesday morning when six armored personnel carriers flying a Russian flag drove into town here and parked in the central square. – New York Times
 
Amid fears of escalating violence in eastern Ukraine, the United Nations called on Tuesday for action to counter misinformation and hate speech used as propaganda and urged the authorities in Crimea to account for killings, torture and arbitrary arrests in the buildup to the March referendum that led to its annexation by Russia. – New York Times
 
German utility RWE AG said it agreed to supply Ukraine with natural gas this year, as the troubled country seeks to reduce its reliance on gas imported from Russia. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
The White House on Tuesday backed a crackdown by Ukraine’s interim government against pro-Russian militants, arguing that Kiev had a responsibility to enforce “law and order” within the nation’s borders. – The Hill’s Global Affairs
 
Yulia Tymoshenko has called on Ukrainians to come together to defend the country against what she describes as a "war" launched by Russia aimed at seizing Ukrainian territory. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
Nearly seven in 10 people believe Russia will not stop with its annexation of Crimea and will continue its march into eastern Ukraine, according to a new poll. – The Hill’s Global Affairs
 
[C]ritics charge that some of Ukraine’s richest businessmen may now be using the threat of separatism as a negotiating chip with Kiev’s new pro-western leadership. Their aim: to preserve their clout after the new government was brought to power by mass protests against a corrupt and oligarch-dominated political and economic system. – Financial Times
 
With the White House asserting that Russia is stoking instability in eastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations. – Associated Press
 
Russia is deeply involved in the crisis in eastern Ukraine where pro-Moscow separatists have seized control of a number of government buildings, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday. - Reuters
 
There are important differences between Russia's intervention in Crimea and the events unfolding this week in eastern Ukraine which suggest Moscow has adapted its Crimea playbook and may be pursuing a different outcome. - Reuters
 
Unprecedented talks across the European Union on Tuesday showed it scrambling for solutions on the ground to break its dependence on Russian gas and help supply Ukraine. - Reuters
 
Slovakia, Ukraine's best hope of getting gas from Europe if the Kremlin halts supply, said it might help by reopening a small pipeline but stopped short of agreeing to reverse the flow of major links that take Russian gas to the European Union. - Reuters
 
Eli Lake and Josh Rogin report: The Obama administration is now considering a new policy to share more real-time intelligence with the interim government in Kiev after pressure from some in the U.S. military, Congress and U.S. allies in Ukraine. – The Daily Beast
 
Audio: FPI Policy Director Robert Zarate discussed the situation in Ukraine on WMAL’s Drive at Five yesterday afternoon - WMAL
 
David Ignatius writes: Obama’s task now is to convince allies and adversaries alike that maintaining international order is something he’s ready to stand up for. Unless he shows that resolve, Putin will keep rolling. – Washington Post
 
Russia
 
It is an extraordinary propaganda campaign that political analysts say reflects a new brazenness on the part of Russian officials. And in recent days, it has largely succeeded — at least for Russia’s domestic audience — in painting a picture of chaos and danger in eastern Ukraine, although it was pro-Russian forces themselves who created it by seizing public buildings and setting up roadblocks. – New York Times
 
President Obama’s top national security advisers Tuesday were considering the possibility of new sanctions against Russia amid reports of armed skirmishes in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists. – Washington Post
 
Former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) said the Obama administration shouldn’t wait another day to impose tougher sanctions against Russia’s economic sectors. – The Hill’s Global Affairs
 
The U.S. administration has ratcheted up the rhetoric as it wrestles with Russia over mounting tensions in Ukraine, engaging the Kremlin in the kind of confrontational and caustic war of words it largely eschewed during U.S. President Barack Obama's first five years in office. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it anticipates more Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia but suggested no action was likely before a diplomatic meeting in Geneva this week. - Reuters
 
Russia's tactics of fostering instability in Ukraine without further overt military intervention are sharpening divisions in the European Union over whether to impose economic sanctions, making an early decision to get tough very unlikely. - Reuters
 
A Ukrainian presidential candidate, known for his radical pro-Russia views, was beaten early on Tuesday by a crowd that took exception to comments he made in a television interview. - Reuters
 
Arch Puddington writes: The world reacted with astonishment at the propaganda barrage that accompanied the recent invasion of Crimea. In fact, this operation was the culmination of a process that has been in the works for over a decade. – Freedom House’s Freedom at Issue - See more at: http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/overnightbrief041614#sthash.sB4vVgtv.dpuf
Ukraine
 
Uncertain of Russian President Vladimir Putin's intentions in Ukraine, the Obama administration is preparing a menu of responses that range from expanded economic sanctions to possible military deployments in Europe to reassure anxious allies, U.S. officials say. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
Ukraine’s military has an urgent need for nonlethal military assistance like body armor, night-vision goggles, communications gear and aviation fuel to defend against a potential Russian attack, according to a new analysis by a former NATO commander and a former Pentagon official. But wary of provoking Russia, the Obama administration has been reluctant to provide it, they say. – New York Times
 
The White House said Tuesday that President Obama will not send lethal military equipment to Ukraine, even as the new pro-Western government in Kiev began a counteroffensive to recapture ground in eastern Ukraine that had been occupied by pro-Russian militia forces. – Washington Times
 
The Ukrainian military landed airborne troops at an airport about 25 miles south of here on Tuesday, raising tensions with Russia in the opening phase of what the government in Kiev called a wider military operation to confront pro-Russian militants in the eastern part of the country. – New York Times
 
The opening phase of what the Ukrainian government has called a military operation to confront pro-Russian militants suffered a setback Wednesday morning when six armored personnel carriers flying a Russian flag drove into town here and parked in the central square. – New York Times
 
Amid fears of escalating violence in eastern Ukraine, the United Nations called on Tuesday for action to counter misinformation and hate speech used as propaganda and urged the authorities in Crimea to account for killings, torture and arbitrary arrests in the buildup to the March referendum that led to its annexation by Russia. – New York Times
 
German utility RWE AG said it agreed to supply Ukraine with natural gas this year, as the troubled country seeks to reduce its reliance on gas imported from Russia. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
The White House on Tuesday backed a crackdown by Ukraine’s interim government against pro-Russian militants, arguing that Kiev had a responsibility to enforce “law and order” within the nation’s borders. – The Hill’s Global Affairs
 
Yulia Tymoshenko has called on Ukrainians to come together to defend the country against what she describes as a "war" launched by Russia aimed at seizing Ukrainian territory. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
Nearly seven in 10 people believe Russia will not stop with its annexation of Crimea and will continue its march into eastern Ukraine, according to a new poll. – The Hill’s Global Affairs
 
[C]ritics charge that some of Ukraine’s richest businessmen may now be using the threat of separatism as a negotiating chip with Kiev’s new pro-western leadership. Their aim: to preserve their clout after the new government was brought to power by mass protests against a corrupt and oligarch-dominated political and economic system. – Financial Times
 
With the White House asserting that Russia is stoking instability in eastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations. – Associated Press
 
Russia is deeply involved in the crisis in eastern Ukraine where pro-Moscow separatists have seized control of a number of government buildings, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday. - Reuters
 
There are important differences between Russia's intervention in Crimea and the events unfolding this week in eastern Ukraine which suggest Moscow has adapted its Crimea playbook and may be pursuing a different outcome. - Reuters
 
Unprecedented talks across the European Union on Tuesday showed it scrambling for solutions on the ground to break its dependence on Russian gas and help supply Ukraine. - Reuters
 
Slovakia, Ukraine's best hope of getting gas from Europe if the Kremlin halts supply, said it might help by reopening a small pipeline but stopped short of agreeing to reverse the flow of major links that take Russian gas to the European Union. - Reuters
 
Eli Lake and Josh Rogin report: The Obama administration is now considering a new policy to share more real-time intelligence with the interim government in Kiev after pressure from some in the U.S. military, Congress and U.S. allies in Ukraine. – The Daily Beast
 
Audio: FPI Policy Director Robert Zarate discussed the situation in Ukraine on WMAL’s Drive at Five yesterday afternoon - WMAL
 
David Ignatius writes: Obama’s task now is to convince allies and adversaries alike that maintaining international order is something he’s ready to stand up for. Unless he shows that resolve, Putin will keep rolling. – Washington Post
 
Russia
 
It is an extraordinary propaganda campaign that political analysts say reflects a new brazenness on the part of Russian officials. And in recent days, it has largely succeeded — at least for Russia’s domestic audience — in painting a picture of chaos and danger in eastern Ukraine, although it was pro-Russian forces themselves who created it by seizing public buildings and setting up roadblocks. – New York Times
 
President Obama’s top national security advisers Tuesday were considering the possibility of new sanctions against Russia amid reports of armed skirmishes in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists. – Washington Post
 
Former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) said the Obama administration shouldn’t wait another day to impose tougher sanctions against Russia’s economic sectors. – The Hill’s Global Affairs
 
The U.S. administration has ratcheted up the rhetoric as it wrestles with Russia over mounting tensions in Ukraine, engaging the Kremlin in the kind of confrontational and caustic war of words it largely eschewed during U.S. President Barack Obama's first five years in office. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it anticipates more Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia but suggested no action was likely before a diplomatic meeting in Geneva this week. - Reuters
 
Russia's tactics of fostering instability in Ukraine without further overt military intervention are sharpening divisions in the European Union over whether to impose economic sanctions, making an early decision to get tough very unlikely. - Reuters
 
A Ukrainian presidential candidate, known for his radical pro-Russia views, was beaten early on Tuesday by a crowd that took exception to comments he made in a television interview. - Reuters
 
Arch Puddington writes: The world reacted with astonishment at the propaganda barrage that accompanied the recent invasion of Crimea. In fact, this operation was the culmination of a process that has been in the works for over a decade. – Freedom House’s Freedom at Issue - See more at: http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/overnightbrief041614#sthash.sB4vVgtv.dpuf

Despite sharp criticism from almost every political party in Iraq and pressure from friendly foreign powers to step down, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki announced Friday that he would seek a third term as prime minister. – New York Times
 
Wearing a black turban and black robes, the leader of the self-proclaimed Islamic state that stretches across eastern Syria and much of northern and western Iraq made a startling public appearance, his first in many years, at a well-known mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul, according to a video released on Saturday whose contents were confirmed by experts and witnesses. – New York Times
 
Warplanes carried out multiple bombing raids in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Sunday, a day after the leader of a powerful al-Qaeda-inspired militant group appeared online in a video from the city’s main mosque. – Washington Post
 
Iraqi security forces are probably incapable of retaking large stretches of territory seized by Sunni insurgents in recent weeks without outside help, the Pentagon’s top leaders said Thursday as they sketched a bleak assessment of turmoil in the country and forecast a protracted conflict that would be difficult to contain. – Washington Post
 
Since the group that calls itself Islamic State began its rapid takeover of large parts of Iraq on June 10, military officials and other witnesses have seen stolen government-issued weapons in battles and military parades in Iraq and Syria, where the group formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, also controls stretches of land. Most are Humvees, but antiaircraft launchers and mortars gave also been spotted. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
The al Qaeda offshoot terrorist group conquering parts of Iraq is gaining strength thanks to prisoner releases and its social media magnetism for foreign fighter recruits. – Washington Times
 
State media reported Saturday that an Iranian military pilot was killed in Iraq, the first confirmation that Iranian forces are involved in the Iraqi government’s battle to repel an offensive by al-Qaeda-inspired extremists. – Washington Post
 
The prospect of an assault on the capital, and on the great shrines of Shiite Islam, by Al Qaeda-style Sunni Arab militants has jolted Iraq's Shiite masses into action. The military appears to have halted the insurgents' advance on Baghdad, but the threat of a militant assault or renewed suicide bomb campaign within the city remains very real. – Los Angeles Times
 
With Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government reeling after an assault by Islamic militants, the autonomous Kurdish region has seized control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and has begun preparations for a referendum on independence. But that drive for statehood is presenting a new set of problems. Unable either to sell its abundant oil supplies abroad or refine them for its own use, the Kurdish regional government has seen its once-thriving economy stall. – New York Times
 
Sen. Lindsey Graham says he would launch a three-tiered military campaign against a violent Sunni group in Syria and Iraq “tomorrow.” But would his hawkish plan work? – Defense News
 
Two Republican senators said Sunday that threats to the United States from Islamic extremists are real and require a policy shift by the Obama administration. – The Hill
 
Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.) said Sunday that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has failed to unify his country, but that U.S. military action there is unwarranted. – The Hill
 
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said he doesn’t think that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is capable of uniting this country amid growing turmoil. – The Hill
 
A bipartisan group of 80 House lawmakers sent a letter to President Obama this week urging him to seek congressional approval before taking military action in Iraq. – The Hill
 
Last week, United Nations officials said that the recent fighting between ISIL militants and Iraq forces had resulted in near 1,000 deaths since the start of June. That number is likely an underestimation according to Columbia University epidemiologist Leslie Roberts, who has seen this before. – Defense One
 
The success of the Sunni insurgency led by the radical anti-Shia Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis, has given Mr Maliki a reprieve from Shia opponents, who have muted their criticism in the face of the jihadi threat even as they search for alternatives – Financial Times
 
The growing crisis in Iraq has forced western banks that launched themselves into the Iraqi market with gusto in recent years to tighten controls on clients’ funds and pull senior staff out of the country amid growing security concerns. – Financial Times
 
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's coalition should withdraw its support for his bid for a third term and pick another candidate, Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr urged, amid parliamentary deadlock over the formation of a new government. - Reuters
 
Eli Lake reports: [I]nterviews with a dozen U.S. and Iraqi intelligence officials, diplomats, and policy makers reveal a very different story. A catastrophe like the fall of Mosul wasn’t just predictable, these officials say. They repeatedly warned the Obama administration that something like this was going to happen. With seemingly no good choices to make in Iraq, the White House wasn’t able to listen. – The Daily Beast
 
Analysis: [S]peaking at West Point in May, President Obama laid out a blueprint for fighting terrorism that relies less on American soldiers, like the cadets in his audience that day, and more on training troops in countries where those threats had taken root. But this indirect approach, intended to avoid costly, bloody wars like the one the United States waged in Iraq, immediately collided with reality when a lethal jihadi insurgency swept across the same Iraqi battlefields where thousands of Americans had lost their lives. – New York Times
 
Report: Read today’s ISW Iraq Situation Report – Institute for the Study of War
 
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) writes: The fight in Iraq has no military solution if Iraq’s political leaders fail to achieve a unity government. For the sake of a unified, stable Iraq, Maliki must step aside. Only then will it be possible to successfully confront ISIL. - Politico
 
Ali Khedery writes: Maliki’s most ardent American supporters ignored the warning signs and stood by as an Iranian general decided Iraq’s fate in 2010. Ironically, these same officials are now scrambling to save Iraq, yet are refusing to publicly condemn Maliki’s abuses and are providing him with arms that he can use to wage war against his political rivals. – Washington Post
 
Jackson Diehl writes: If the Kurds are right, the Middle East will be coping with an aggressive al-Qaeda state in its midst for the foreseeable future. Kurdistan will consolidate its position as a de facto, if not de jure, independent state. And the Obama administration’s strategy of re-creating a unified Iraq under a strong central government will, like its previous Middle East schemes, prove a mirage. – Washington Post

 

 

 

 

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