Today there are four failing states and three ongoing wars in the MIddle East. Underneath all the conflict, there are two common actors: Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Once again, an administration is embarking on a military intervention in the absence of virtually any debate.
If the anti-Isis forces ultimately succeed in recapturing Mosul it will be the fifth time the city has changed hands in the course of 13 years of war.
The entire ISIS caliphate could be directed against the Assad government and its allies -- a scenario which might cause some satisfaction in Washington.
At issue for all involved is not only breaking Isis's control of territory, but determining who will rule there in place of Isis.
In the post-9/11 years, “reconstruction” and “war” have really been euphemisms for what, in other countries, we would recognize as a massive system of corruption.