Iraq on the Brink
From: The 10-Point, by Gerard Baker, WSJ, Jun. 13, 2014:
Iraq is edging closer to all-out sectarian conflict. We report that the government in Baghdad is scrambling to defend the capital from advancing insurgents, while the U.S. weighs military assistance. Iranian security officials said that their forces have now joined the battle on Baghdad’s side. We note that Iran is facing its biggest security challenge since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 with the threat of Sunni extremists toppling its Shiite-dominated ally. The involvement of Iran, however, poses a challenge for the White House, raising the prospect of the U.S. and Iran fighting on the same side. We also find that the U.S. has been secretly flying drones over Iraq since last year to collect intelligence on insurgents. And, of course, the conflict has economic implications. The price of oil climbed to its highest level since Septemberyesterday and crude-oil futures surged in Asian trading hours this morning, on concerns that supplies could be disrupted.