By Molly Reiner
March 17, 2014
The United States withdrew all military forces from Iraq in December 2011. However, sectarian violence between the Shiites and Sunnis has only seemed to increase since U.S. disengagement there; deadly attacks killing dozens of people are commonplace today, two years after American troops left. Such sectarian problems in Iraq, only one example of equally disturbing violence throughout the Middle East, should factor prominently in U.S. foreign policy decision-making, especially in the realm of maintaining security against budding terrorist cells throughout the region. In light of the continued, heated civil unrest in Iraq, U.S. interest must not dwindle in the country that has received so much attention over the decade. However, the U.S. must also carefully gauge its level and direction of involvement, in order to avoid falling into foreign policy traps of the past, including unwavering support for unpopular regimes, or inadvertently funding terrorist organizations.