An Iraqi boy and tribesmen gather

The Sunni militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized the northern city of Tal Afar on Monday, and continues to press south toward Baghdad. Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States is weighing its options to stem the advance of the insurgents, which range from drone strikes to cooperation with Iran. What, if anything, can the U.S. do to prevent the disintegration of Iraq?

Aaron David Miller, vice president for new initiatives and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and former adviser to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state
Ambassador Feisal Istrabadi, former deputy permanent representative to the United Nations for Iraq (2004-07) and director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East at Indiana University
Martha Crenshaw, senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University
Jeffrey White, defense fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Jiya Gol, BBC correspondent in Baghdad

  • colinvgallagher

    It would be ironic if Barack Obama, who had campaigned against the Iraq War to win the Presidency, were now to re-engage the U.S. military in Iraq’s sectarian conflict. Will we be welcomed as “liberators” the second time around? Would our intervention in Iraq be a “cakewalk” this time?

  • Cal M

    I hope you’ll read this on the air b/c I’m sure it reflects the view of many in your audience of ALL political stripes:
    Michael & producers, thank you very much for not falling victim to the temptation of inviting “experts” from the Bush Administration to opine now — in the specious interest of being “balanced.” They were so catastrophically wrong in their assessments during the initial planning & invasion that they should be never be listened to again. Instead of being re-invited on shows now, they should be forever ridiculed for their stunning ignorance that created this intractable mess in the first place.

  • Anne Schulte

    Isis? more like Hydra.

  • Ken Stofft

    This is a war that has been going on for centuries between the Sunnis and Shiites. No military action on the part of any government will resolve this, but will generate more hatred toward the West. If anyone wants to help resolve this horrendous hatred between these two religious groups, they/he/she would call for a religious Summit to face the hatred between them and come to a viable and effective resolution.

  • Matthew Scott

    What I am most interested in hearing your guests speak on is the regional aspect of the conflict and what they believe are the possible trip wires that would bring other countries into the conflict. Most immediately would be Turkey and Iran/Syria

  • trite

    Your guest did not answer your question about division into three parts. Why? Please ask question again.

    • Hi- I missed the last 10 minutes of the program, so perhaps this question was dealt with. But, if not, one of the biggest challenges of dividing the country into three parts is the fact that the country’s oil resources are not evenly divided into each potential area. The Kirkuk oilfields have around 40 percent of Iraq’s oil reserves, for instance, and neither the central government in Baghdad nor any potential Sunni-Iraqi enclave would be very happy about giving up access to these. Also, despite the fact that we talk about Kurdish/Shiite Arab/Sunni Arab communities in Iraq as if they were neatly divided, there are still many areas that contain multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian populations.

  • aestewart

    Whenever the regional balance of power in the Middle East has shifted between Sunni and Shia; israel has always been affected. Without indulging in speculation over US/Israeli relations; what would are objectively conceivable outcomes in Iraq and how would they possibly affect the State of Israel?

  • johnqeniac

    Jeffrey White, according to Krasny, was responsible for ‘planning for the 2003 invasion of Iraq’. What? What? They actually had a plan? The whole thing seemed so completely clueless, reckless, incompetent and ad hoc from beginning to end. If White was in charge of that mother-of-all-clusterf—s, then he’s a total idiot and no one should listen to anything he says. Seriously.

  • johnqeniac

    Did Krasny just say that Saudis are collaborating with the Russians? On what? The Russians are supporting Assad and Iran against the Sunnis. What? I think Krasny’s lost it again…

  • johnqeniac

    It’s hilarious listening to Krasny and virtually all american politicians and journalists saying that it’s time to ‘get rid of Big al-Maiiki’. But, but, but… Maliki was elected. Right? Remember our joy at the ‘purple finger moment’? Remember how we went in out of pure unalloyed altruism to establish democracy? Naaw, forget all that democracy crap. That was all b—s—. Let’s just bump the guy off like we’ve always done before, and put in a useful puppet. That’s the new spirit of realism I’m hearing from Krasny and everyone else/

  • SFGreg

    It absolutely sickens me to see the horrible results of our involvement in these Middle East wars. Our best and brightest (after being brain-washed through military training) having their lives and their families lives destroyed by being put in these nut farms where hate rules, where hate has ruled for centuries and will continue to rule. Solutions must be based in a philosophy and a belief in respect. The people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Arabia, etc. have beliefs that are founded in revenge for not praying in the same manner. Not simple corporal revenge but death for those who are not strictly identical in their creed. There is nothing to gain for us when we stand between these maniacs. When one war ends, another is being planned and financed.

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