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U.S. President Barack Obama deserves unconditional support for his recent decision to use military force to protect the persecuted Yazidi minority from threatened genocide by marauding ISIS militants in northern Iraq.The United States' action was completely consistent with the principles of the international responsibility to protect those who are at risk of mass-atrocity crimes, which was embraced unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 . Unlike the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, it cannot be argued that external military intervention will be likely to cause more harm than good.As I have argued previously, the only possible justification – moral, political, or military – for renewed external military intervention in Iraq is to meet the international responsibility to protect victims, or potential victims, of mass atrocities.There are also, of course, American voices – like that of the foreign policy realist Stephen Walt – arguing for less to be done, on the grounds that U.S. interests are insufficiently engaged to justify any military intervention, however limited.
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