Iraq at a Crossroads: Options for U.S. Policy, Hearing Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, Second Session, July 24, 2014   [open pdf - 383KB]

This testimony compilation is from the July 24, 2014 hearing, "Iraq at a Crossroads: Options for U.S. Policy," before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. From the testimony of James Jeffrey: "The establishment of the Islamic State (IS) by the Al Qaeda in Iraq offshoot group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) changes the geostrategy of the entire Middle East, represents a dramatic setback to U.S. policy and interests, and requires an immediate response from Washington. The creation of an extremist quasi-state, analogous to Afghanistan under the Taliban, carries the risk of further escalation including a regional Sunni-Shia conflict, and an irreparable loss in US influence. But the rise of the ISIL first in Syria and now in Iraq reflects in part the nefarious effort by Iran to exploit sectarian divides to achieve regional hegemony. The US government must counter both the IS threat and Iran's quest for domination, bearing in mind that Iran is not our ally in the campaign against al Qaeda terror. Above all, the U.S. must recognize that we are in a full blown crisis that requires action, even if politically risky." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Brett McGurk, Elissa Slotkin, James Jeffrey, Michael Barbero, and Kenneth Pollack.

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