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Why U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq Are Not a Major Strategy Change

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Despite the frenzy over President Barack Obama’s authorization for airstrikes that began Friday, the humanitarian aid measures and the airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq do not represent a major change in U.S. strategy for Iraq and Syria.

Much like Mr. Obama’s announcements the past two years on arming the opposition in Syria, Thursday and Friday’s actions amount to slight tactical shifts. These U.S. actions could affect important aspects of the instability in Iraq, but the follow-through will depend–heavily–on what Iraqis do for their country. Whether you deem this getting others to pull their weight or leading from behind, Mr. Obama made his position clear Thursday night: “As commander in chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq.”

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This article was originally published in The Wall Street Journal.

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