At the PJ Tatler, Austin Bay is “Making Sense of the Meltdown in Iraq:”
STRATEGIC POLITICAL: The US has a vital interest in helping Iraqis create a stable, democratic state. Would-be isolationists will quickly rediscover that economic links bind the 21st century world, once they see the oil price hikes spurred by the battlefield successes of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also translated as the media-friendly acronym ISIS, for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).
However, US interest in Iraq is not simply energy or economics — it is political example. Iran’s dictatorship and various violent Islamic militant groups know that a successful Iraqi democracy would be fatal to them and to their goals.(1) The US and Iraq must negotiate a new Status of Forces Agreement. To stabilize, Iraqis need confidence; a long-term US security presence inspires confidence. American kept a security “nightlight” in Germany and Japan for half a century.(2)
Read the whole thing.