U.S. Military Options in Iraq Are Pretty Thin


If the U.S. military attacks targets in Iraq, it’ll be a long way from the “shock and awe” bombing campaign that opened the 2003 war. Think of it more like a delicate smattering of smaller bombs and missiles designed to pick off elements of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as they try to consolidate the gains they have made over the past week against the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki.

“We need air power immediately to stop the advance toward Baghdad,” Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told CBS Sunday. “The seeds of 9/11s are being planted all over Iraq and Syria.”

Air strikes are on the list, Pentagon officials say, including F-18 bombing runs from the USS George W. Bush, which moved into the Persian Gulf over the weekend. “There are an awful lot of movements that they are making that are targetable,” Anthony Cordesman, of the Center…

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