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August 13, 2014 1:00 PM

U.S. has a chance to stop the Islamic State

It would be wrong to view President Barack Obama’s decision to order airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and to give weapons to Kurdish fighters as a continuation of the war in Iraq. It is more accurate to see it as a mission to prevent a repetition of the war in Afghanistan. We have a chance to stop the Islamic State before it creates a sanctuary in Iraq and Syria that it could use to strike the United States, just as al-Qaida used its sanctuary in Afghanistan to kill thousands of Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. That, to his credit, is what the president has begun to do.

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