Guest Editorial: Iraq needs a political solution, not American military help

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - More than 100 Alabamians died in the Iraqi conflict in the last decade, protecting America's security.

Now, nearly three years after the U.S. withdrew our troops from Iraq, Baghdad is asking for American military help to squash a Sunni militant uprising that threatens the stability of their Shia based government.

President Obama has sent a few hundred armed forces to protect American interests and our embassy there… something he had to do, especially given the Benghazi attack two years ago.

But, beyond that, we should not engage militarily in this centuries-old sectarian conflict.  This rift between Sunnis and Shias was only papered over while our troops were there and now has resurfaced.

Baghdad's failure in the north is political, and the remedy must be political.   It is up to Iraq's leaders to figure out how to make needed reforms and include the disenfranchised Sunnis.

For security reasons the U.S. must do all we can to bring stability to Iraq.  We and other countries can help mediate, but it is obvious our military efforts will not solve this long term sectarian problem.

If the U.S. escalates our forces in Iraq, Alabama's sons and daughters will likely go.  Let's make sure we are learning from our experience and doing the right thing, and the smart thing.

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