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A tour of the war zones in Iraq and Syria with the top American commander ends, appropriately enough, here in Turkey, the strongest power in the region and the place where the modern troubles began a 100 years ago with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The abiding strategic fact about the current war against Daesh (ISIS) is that it's part of a bigger process of reordering the post-Ottoman structure of this part of the world. My trip with Gen. Joseph Votel, the Centcom commander, distilled two themes:A likable American assessment, but that's not the way conflicts work in this part of the world.I've heard similar upbeat comments for a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the unfortunate fact is that suicide bombings, however desperate, still keep this region unstable and in some ways ungovernable.Military commanders should be careful about outrunning their political bases of support. One commander rightly said Daesh is like cancer.
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