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SPOTLIGHT
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Published on -6/26/2014, 10:12 AM

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President Barack Obama knows there's no clean escape route from Iraq. After all, the United States has had a presence in the Middle Eastern country for quite some time.

No matter how many troops have been withdrawn from the country, it seems talk continues to filter back to the sandy land once ruled by Saddam Hussein.

The U.S. presence in Iraq helped free the country of the dictator's ruling hand. Whether the invasion followed accurate information -- weapons of mass destruction -- is a completely different topic.

Lately, Iraqis might be beginning to think otherwise. The ongoing sectarian strife ravaging the country has thousands running for cover as Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds clash, and Prime Minister Nouri Malaki tries to regain control of his country.

In the last decade, the country has seen its fair share of fighting. The U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 to oust Hussein. In 2011, most troops had been withdrawn.

Before, during and after that time, too many U.S. troops were killed fighting in the country.

Now, Obama is reiterating the future of Iraq -- and other regions flush with violence -- relies on help not just from the U.S., but other countries as well.

"And this is going to be a global challenge and one that the United States is going to have to address, but we're not going to be able to address it alone," Obama said earlier this week. "And as I said yesterday, what we can't do is think that we're just going to play whack-a-mole and send U.S. troops occupying various countries wherever these organizations pop up."

It's a challenge for sure. Need more proof? Look no further than the Pentagon official who recently said Baghdad could fall to insurgents.

Obama is sending help, but not necessarily in the form of troops. Instead, it's more of an advise-and-conquer method. Approximately 90 people have been sent to Iraq to "get better eyes on the situation and what they're facing," according to Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby.

It will be an interesting task for the advisers to formulate what needs to be done to secure peace in the country. And while the U.S. specialists are in Iraq, they should be afforded the upmost security possible at all costs.

The U.S. has spent billions of dollars in the Middle East in the last decade. That doesn't count the lives lost -- American and otherwise. There is no dollar amount that ever can be associated with such grief.

We hope other countries are able to lend a hand as well. It shouldn't rely on only American advisers trying to formulate a plan as the Earth's police force. If Iraq has turned into a conglomerate of terroristic activity and senseless killings, more than just the U.S. should be raising eyebrows.

The last thing Iraqis want is another rebuilding process from another war, this time as a result from their own countrymen.

And the last thing the U.S. can afford to do is send more troops to the Middle East with a price tag no one can explain.

Editorial by Nick Schwien

nschwien@dailynews.net

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