Iraq and Syria Are Increasingly the Same Battlefield. How Will the U.S. Respond?

June 11, 2014 12:22 PM

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Iraq and Syria Are Increasingly the Same Battlefield. How Will the U.S. Respond?

Two weeks ago at West Point, President Barack Obama outlined an approach to combating terrorism that contrasts with that of his predecessor. Instead of relying on extended deployments of U.S. forces as we had in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mr. Obama suggested developing a network of alliances from South Asia to Africa with support from a $5 billion counterterrorism partnership fund. This proposed fund is to allow the U.S. to train and build partners’ capacities to deal with terrorist threats.

Events in Iraq, like recent trends in Libya, underscore potential issues with this “light footprint” approach to addressing terrorist threats. The U.S. spent more than $20 billion and had a heavy troop presence in Iraq for several years to train and equip Iraqi security forces–the same forces that h...

Also read: Obama, in Major National Security Speech, Defends Counterterrorism Legacy

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