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Displaced Sunnis, who fled the violence in the city of Ramadi, arrive at the outskirts of Baghdad, April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Michael Martinez, CNN: Iraq: How did we get here?

(CNN)Iraq roils in a maelstrom: ISIS now controls Ramadi, a new prime minister is in charge, Shiite-Sunni bloodshed flows, and a U.S.-led coalition is back, this time executing airstrikes in Iraq.

The saga of Iraq is, as an analyst put it, "a rather straightforward but sad story" since the U.S. military left the country at the end of 2011, only to find itself returning in a smaller way.

The fall of Ramadi to ISIS this week strikes many as a milestone because the city is the capital of Iraq's biggest province and because U.S. troops heroically fought insurgents there in the mid-2000s.

Some politicians feel the U.S. withdrawal of troops was a mistake, though public opinion favored it then.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Too late for that now," said Paul Salem of the nonpartisan Middle East Institute.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials On The War Against The Islamic State

First Ramadi, then Palmyra: Isis shows it can storm bastions of Syria and Iraq -- Martin Chulov, The Guardian
U.S. May Cooperate With Iran-Backed Militias -- Jacob Siegel, Daily Beast
Stop ISIS from Establishing a State -- Ronald Tiersky, The Compass
Be honest: ISIS fight will be a long one -- Brian Fishman, CNN
Could Palmyra Be a Turning Point for Syria? -- Marc Champion, Bloomberg
ISIS Just Captured One of Syria's Most Magnificent Ancient Cities -- Bryan Schatz, Mother Jones
Analysis: Ramadi rout shows limits of U.S. plan to train Iraqi military -- Jim Michaels, USA TODAY
Why is the Islamic State undefeatable? -- Yaron Friedman, YNet News
Isis advance blows hole in Obama’s Iraq strategy -- Geoff Dyer in Washington, Erika Solomon in Beirut and Borzou Daragahi in Cairo, Financial Times
US officials are starting to doubt that Iraq's prime minister can defeat ISIS -- Matt Spetalnick and Phil Stewart, Reuters
Islamic State Victory Threatens to Unravel Obama’s Iraq Plan -- David J Lynch, Bloomberg
ISIS Counterpunch Stuns U.S. and Iraq -- Jamie Dettmer, Daily Beast
Ramadi's Fall, Obama's Strategy, Iraq's Future -- Bloomberg editorial
The Iraqi Government Does Not Care About Anbar Province -- Kevin Knodell, RCW
ANALYSIS: What to expect after Ramadi’s fall -- Linah Alsaafin, Middle East Monitor
Losing in Iraq Again -- WSJ
Ramadi’s fall a major loss for Iraq’s moderates -- Frida Ghittis, Miami Herald
Well, what is the GOP’s Iraq strategy? -- Derek Chollet, Washington Post
Why more US troops in Iraq is not the answer -- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
Six Words the White House Regrets About Its ISIS Strategy -- Carol Lee, WSJ
How the fall of Ramadi in 2015 began with the fall of Saddam’s statue in 2003 -- Jay Bookman, AJC
US Sending Weapons To Iraq To Use Against Weapons US Previously Sent To Iraq -- Fire Dog Lake
To recapture Ramadi from Islamic State, Iraq must use this formula -- Hayder Al-Khoei, Reuters
Iraq after the fall of Ramadi: How to avoid another unraveling of Iraq -- Kenneth M. Pollack, Brookings

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