YSU professor gives views on Iraq turmoil

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) —  President Barack Obama laid out his plans on Thursday to help Iraq fend off an attack from Sunni militants.

He is ready to send up to 300 military advisers to help keep the country from falling into a full-scale civil war. He also has ordered increased surveillance flights but said American combat troops will not be returning.

Youngstown State University political science professor Dr. Paul Sracic predicted what’s next on the president’s timeline.

“Part of the reason that we have the troops going on the ground now is to help us identify targets. So one expects once we identify targets, we will start using military air power. But I don’t think anyone wants actual fighting on the ground with U.S. troops. I think we’re going to try to avoid that at all costs. But I think everyone expects U.S. air power sometime in the near future,” he said.

He said Iraq is a complex, difficult, fragmented place with religious conflicts and travel conflicts. Sracic also said ideally, the U.S. would have left troops in Iraq a little longer instead of withdrawing back in 2011.

“Probably ideally we could have left the troops there a little longer and tried to control Al-Maliki a little bit to prevent some of the anti-Sunni actions that have led to this backlash there, if we could have foreseen the future,” Sracic said. “But now the question is, what do we do in the future? How do we handle this? And unfortunately to some people, this is far from over.”

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