No Other Choice in Iraq

August 17, 2014 11:05 PM

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President Barack Obama is determined not to get drawn back into a war in Iraq. He said so in June. He said it again after authorizing airstrikes in Iraq on August 8. He repeated it as he talked to reporters at the White House before leaving for a vacation on Martha's Vineyard. And Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said it again as the U.S. announced it had sent 130 military advisers to northern Iraq to help with the evacuation of thousands of traumatized and starving refugees under siege from militants of the Islamic State – a force that has also announced its intention to attack the U.S. homeland.

But is Obama's declaration realistic? While the president campaigned in 2008 on a pledge to get America out of what had become a costly and unpopular war, events may be forcing his reluctant hand. Iraq is a political, security and humanitarian mess, with the Islamic State marauding through the count...

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