Guests: Barak Mendelsohn and Brendan O’Leary
Political upheaval in Baghdad along with the continuing threat of Islamic militants in the north of Iraq has raised serious concerns about that country’s stability and U.S. involvement. Earlier this week, under pressure from Washington, Iraqi lawmakers chose a replacement for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The U.S. says Maliki’s sectarian government furthered the divide between Shiites and the Sunni and Kurdish minorities, leaving the country vulnerable to the rise of Islamic State extremists. Meanwhile as U.S. airstrikes in the north continue, the Obama administration is now sending arms directly to the Kurds. Today on Radio Times, the crisis in Iraq and what it tells us about American foreign policy and the future of the region. Our guests are BARAK MENDELSON, associate professor at Haverford College, and BRENDAN O’LEARY, from the University of Pennsylvania. Mendelsohn’s research focuses on Jihadi movements in the Middle East. O’Leary has been a consultant to the Kurdish regional government in Iraq.