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Nothing in these plans is particularly promising: acting as the Iranian Air Force and killing innocent Sunnis while bombing terrorists and thwarting our own interests by furthering the aims of Iran in the region, which could hasten an Israeli-Iranian confrontation.

A second option is to do nothing and let others control events.

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There is a final, albeit emotionally difficult alternative: countering both terrorist and Iranian influence in Iraq by striking a deal with a secular Sunni faction.

It would necessarily involve negotiations with some horrific individuals, but it could lead to a situation where there are Sunni nationalists preventing a Sunni terrorist takeover–and Arabs fighting Iranians instead of Americans as infidels and invaders.

Admittedly, it is a painful choice with a risk of unintended consequences; but it does reflect the reality of the Middle East and might avoid additional expenditure of American blood and treasure, while advancing the American strategic interests of defeating terrorism and containing Iran.

Colonel Nagi N. Najjar is a Lebanese Christian and US citizen with extensive contacts in the Middle East. He was an intelligence officer during Lebanon’s civil war and serves as an advisor to US Army (ret) Maj. Gen Paul E. Vallely.

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Photo credit: The U.S. Army (Flickr)

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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