Michael Eisenstadt is the Kahn Fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Military and Security Studies Program.
Articles & Testimony
Despite its past experience in Iraq, the United States has clear and compelling reasons to actively address the current crisis there, and several options for doing so.
The following is an excerpt from Mr. Eisenstadt's prepared remarks submitted to the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. Download the PDF to read his full remarks, or read James Jeffrey's testimony at the same joint hearing, or watch video of the entire event.
Given how much blood and treasure the United States has already invested in Iraq (nearly 4,500 killed, more than 30,000 wounded, and well over $1 trillion spent), why should Americans care about what is going on there now? Simply because "if you do not visit the Middle East, it will visit you." The U.S. experience in the region since its forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011 shows that the United States needs to shape and influence developments in the region -- to the degree it is able -- as vital U.S. security interests are affected by what happens there.
What are these interests? They are: (1) containing terrorist threats, (2) oil, (3) nonproliferation, and (4) preventing the emergence of a regional hegemon...