Putting Down Markers

by Dave Schuler on June 18, 2014

This is a good opportunity to put down some markers on what’s going on in Iraq.

  1. There is no ready replacement for Maliki.
  2. Maliki is working from a very familiar Middle Eastern playbook and one that should be expected from any leader operating in a tribal society who maintains his power by doling out favors.
  3. Consequently, any substitute for Maliki won’t do anything much different.
  4. ISIS doesn’t negotiate. They might delay but they won’t negotiate.
  5. They’ve been more effective at governing in Syria than has been suggested in the American media. They’ll probably do the same things in Iraq as they have in Syria.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

PD Shaw June 18, 2014 at 9:34 am

It seems like I’ve read suggestions that Maliki might be replaced by his party. I don’t know the political situation enough to know how credible that is, but it would be the only credible change. The important point to me is that any U.S. posture that is dependent upon or seeks to replace Maliki is silly. Either the situation warrants a given U.S. action or it doesn’t, regardless of the prime minister.

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