Christopher Preble on ISIL and the Intervention Bias



As Americans see images of New Hampshire-born journalist James Foley beheaded by members of the extremist militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), some commentators insist that the current chaos is a direct result of President Obama's reluctance to intervene decisively in the multi-year conflicts in Iraq and Syria. Most notably, Hillary Clinton suggests that Obama's failure to aid the Syrian rebels led to the rise of ISIL. This is dubious, writes Christopher Preble. The phenomenon of training people, and then later fighting them, isn't new. And yet, the certainty of those who claim that early action to arm the Syrian rebels would have produced a better outcome reflects the interventionist bias so prevalent in Washington.