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By Fareed Zakaria
Let’s be honest, Iraq's Shia (like the Sunni Islamists of Syria) had been brutally suppressed by dictators for decades. It was always going to be hard for them to sign up peacefully to share power with their former tormentors.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's reign of terror against the Sunnis has suddenly ensured that the Sunnis will never really trust him – and they are likely never to trust the parties he represents – to rule over them. As Washington supports the Baghdad government it will have to be extremely careful not to be seen as taking sides in a sectarian conflict and to press for political reform and inclusiveness even as it offers Baghdad military support.
But Washington should recognize that national harmony in Iraq, everyone singing Kumbaya, is highly unlikely. It needs a Plan B. Call it an enclave strategy – the world might have to accept that Iraq is turning into a country of enclaves and work to ensure that these regions stay as stable, terror-free, and open as is possible…
…Now, there will be enclaves where ISIS and similar groups gain some strength. In these areas, Washington would have to use drones, counter-intelligence, and occasional Special Forces strikes – just as it does in parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
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