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Re-examining the Baker-Hamilton proposals is a good way to refocus U.S. strategy for Iraq and Syria. The report made two basic arguments: Solving the sectarian conflict requires a new push for reconciliation internally, and a new diplomatic offensive externally.It seemed to work for a time, but the ruinous sectarian hatred remained – and reignited, disastrously, after U.S. troops left and the Syria crisis was allowed to boil. Now parts of Iraq and Syria, both, are under the banner of ISIS.American troops can help train and advise Iraqi forces.How can the goal of national dialogue be accomplished now in Iraq, when it has failed so many times in the past?What's needed is an organic process of dialogue, such as the 1993 Oslo Accord between the Israelis and Palestinians, the 1995 Dayton Accords among the Balkan states, or the 1998 Good Friday agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland.The best hope for Syria is a similar process of internal dialogue, backed by external diplomatic support.
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