U.S. Launches Airstrikes in Iraq

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 (SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States launched a series of airstrikes on Friday against Islamic State militants in Northern Iraq, near the city of Erbil. The strikes occurred amid a growing humanitarian crisis in the region, including the reported kidnapping of hundreds of women of the Yazidi religious minority by members of the Islamic State. We assess the Obama administration's military and political strategies in Iraq and their implications for the Middle East as a whole.


Peter Mansoor, chair in military history at Ohio State University, former brigade commander in Iraq and author of "Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War"

John Arquilla, chairman of the Defense Analysis Department at the Naval Postgraduate School and author of "Insurgents, Raiders and Bandits: How Masters of Irregular Warfare Have Shaped Our World"

Borzou Daragahi, Middle East and North Africa correspondent for the Financial Times and former Beirut bureau chief for the LA Times