A powerful group of radical Islamists has been overwhelming Iraqi cities and towns. The stunning onslaught has the capital Baghdad now girding for battle and the U.S. grappling with how best to deal with the threat. We’ll look at the situation there and at American options.
- Daniel Benjamin – director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College. He also served as Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the U.S. State Department.
- Wayne Lesperance – professor of Political Science at New England College and director of the Center for Civic Engagement.
- Boston Globe op-ed by guest Daniel Benjamin: "Whether Iraq survives as a state is an open question. But other consequences of the current mess will raise anxieties in many capitals in the West and the Arab world before that issue is resolved."
- New York Times resource: The Iraq-ISIS Conflict in Maps, Photos and Video
- A report from PRI's The World on on Iraq War veterans: 'Moya says when he think about Iraq, a lot of emotion comes back. His fellow Marines died. And when the war ended in 2011, he says it was hard to let go. "It was kind of a bad relationship that you kind of want to stay in, but you kind of know that it needs to end," he says. "And it hurts either way, whether you stay or let it go."'
- Latest Pew report on U.S. opinion of Iraq War gains: "That amounted to a 19-point decline in perceived success since 2011. And, by about the same margin (50% to 38%), the public said the U.S. had made the wrong decision in using military force in Iraq."
- A backgrounder on ISIS from the Council on Foreign Relations: "Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), a predominantly Sunni jihadist group, seeks to sow civil unrest in Iraq and the Levant ... The group emerged in the ashes of the U.S.-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and the insurgency that followed provided it with fertile ground to wage a guerrilla war against coalition forces and their domestic allies."