It’s almost Shakespearean. Since the day he arrived in Washington, Barack Obama’s defining foreign-policy passion has been to get the United States out of Iraq. As president, he had done that. Just last month, he proclaimed at the West Point commencement that “the decade of war” was behind us.
But after the radical Sunni ISIS force swept through northern Iraq, took Mosul, and threatened Baghdad, leaving the country on the edge of civil war and partition, Obama was forced to reverse course. He deployed 600 American advisers and security forces to Baghdad, along with drones and a carrier task force offshore.