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Militant Islamist fighters take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province in Syria, June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Wall Street Journal: After Ramadi, U.S. and Allies Face Dilemma in Fight Against Islamic State

Three options: carry on, escalate or quit fight against militant group

The fall of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s largest province, has bared the weaknesses in the American strategy against Islamic State.

Evaluating how to respond, the U.S. and Western allies face three potential paths—to keep going with the current approach, to double down and start taking casualties, or to acknowledge that the Iraqi state is beyond salvation and leave.

Considering how intractable the conflict has become, all of these policy choices present significant risks.

“To be frank, you don’t have a hell of a lot of options,” said Anthony Cordesman, the chair in strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and a former senior defense official.

WNU Editor: The fall of Ramadi was a surprise in not falling, but that only a few hundred Islamic State soldiers were able to do it even though they were outnumbered 10:1 and the Iraqi soldiers that they were facing were considered to be "the best". As to what are the three options left for U.S. and ally policy makers .... they are .... carry on, escalate or quit fight against militant group. Carry on will only mean a continuation of the Islamic State cementing its control in the Sunni regions of Iraq and Syria. Escalating will mean more air strikes .... but more importantly deploying ground troops .... an option that has very little if any political or public support in the U.S.. The third option is quitting .... but even if the U.S. and the coalition "quit" .... the Islamic State will only continue to grow and they have been very adamant that their long term goal is the establishment of a global Caliphate that will only threaten us in the future.

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