Renewed U.S. Intervention in Iraq Won't Solve the Nation's Many Internal Ethnic Conflicts

Posted Sept. 3, 2014

MP3 Interview with Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi-born political analyst and policy impact coordinator with the American Friends Service Committee, conducted by Scott Harris


Since President Barack Obama first authorized military intervention in northern Iraq on Aug. 7, the mission has expanded from the originally stated “humanitarian” purpose of protecting minority Yazidi refugees and the U.S. consulate in the Kurdish city of Erbil threatened by advancing fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or ISIS. Later, U.S. airstrikes were launched in support of Iraqi and Kurdish forces as they successfully fought ISIS for control of the strategic Mosul Dam. On Labor Day, President Obama formally notified the U.S. Congress that he had ordered additional air strikes and humanitarian airdrops over the Iraqi Shiite town of Amerli, where the administration said ISIS militants had trapped the civilian population. The Iraqi army, along with Shiite militia groups reportedly drove ISIS forces out of Amerli on Aug. 31. In mid-August, the U.S. had deployed nearly 1,000 military advisors to Iraq.

As President Obama prepared to fly to Europe to attend the NATO summit meeting that begins in Wales on Sept. 4, ISIS posted a gruesome video that showed the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven J. Sotloff. Sotloff, who wrote for Time magazine and other publications, was the second American executed by the Islamic militant group, after the Aug. 19 murder of journalist James Foley. ISIS has threatened to kill a third western captive, British citizen David Cawthorne Haines if the U.S. doesn't end military operations in Iraq.

Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi-born political analyst who now serves as the policy impact coordinator with the American Friends Committee's Office of Public Policy. Here, he discusses his view that renewed U.S. military intervention in Iraq will draw America deeper into Iraq’s civil conflict linked with others across the region.

Find more analysis and commentary by Raed Jarrar at

Related Links: