Letters to the Editor

Betsy Crites: Nonmilitary solutions for Iraq

Regarding the Nov. 12 column “ In Iraq, U.S. verging on insanity”: Retired Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger presented a courageous and honest assessment of the “two failed wars” of Iraq and Afghanistan. He concluded that applying more military force to the current round of fighting in Iraq and Syria fits the definition of insanity (i.e., doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results).

Bolger said a “real world” response, if not a solution, to ISIS would be to “degrade its forces, harry them or kill them, and seek the long game at the lowest possible cost.” It’s not clear what “the long game” is, but I suggest that in the interest of sanity, it must not be a military game.

Alternative actions could include cutting off material support to the various warring militias and pressuring our allies to do the same, engaging with Iran to pressure the Iraqi government to stop human rights violations, working with the United Nations for international negotiations aimed at political solutions and pledging more support and follow-through to address the current humanitarian crises.

We are now in Round 3 with Iraq, and we will get different results only when we find nonmilitary ways to address the problems.

Betsy Crites

Former director, NC Peace Action