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In Iraq, a de facto U.S.-Iran alliance

In Iraq, a de facto U.S.-Iran alliance

In principle, the Obama administration's strategy for confronting the Islamic State made perfect sense: The U.S. would conduct military airstrikes against insurgent strongholds in Syria and Iraq in support of coordinated attacks on the ground by troops fielded by our regional allies. The goal was to minimize American combat casualties by avoiding putting U.S. boots on the ground while at the same time drawing our partners in the region into assuming a more robust role in defending against a common enemy.

But as the capture on Sunday of the Iraqi city of Ramadi by Islamic State militants shows, one of the enduring realities of war is that things routinely fail to work out as planned....