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'A Plan to Save Iraq From ISIS and Iran'

11:44 AM, Jun 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Jack Keane and Danielle Pletka, writing for the Wall Street Journal

Setting aside for the moment the question of whether this administration has the will to intervene again in Iraq, here are the components of a reasonable military package that can make a difference:

• Intelligence architecture. Iraq's intel screens went blank after the U.S. military pulled out in 2011. Washington needs to restore Baghdad's ability to access national, regional and local intelligence sources, enabling the Iraqi military to gain vital situational awareness.

• Planners and advisers. The Iraqi military needs planners to assist with the defense of Baghdad and the eventual counter-offensive to regain lost territory, as well as advisers down to division level where units are still viable.

• Counterterrorism. Special operations forces should be employed clandestinely to attack high value ISIS targets and leaders in Iraq and Syria.

• Air power. Air power alone cannot win a war, but it can significantly diminish enemy forces and, when used in coordination with ground forces, can exponentially increase the odds of success.

The boss and Fred Kagan argued yesterday that we must "act boldly and decisively to help stop the advance of the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—without empowering Iran. This would mean pursuing a strategy in Iraq (and in Syria) that works to empower moderate Sunni and Shi’a without taking sectarian sides. This would mean aiming at the expulsion of foreign fighters, both al Qaeda terrorists and Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah regular and special forces, from Iraq."

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