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OPINION

Editor’s note: Putin filling voids Obama left

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

Desperate people turn to strong leaders. So it’s not surprising that Iraqi Shiite lawmakers and militia leaders are begging Russia’s Vladimir Putin to launch airstrikes on Islamic State encampments in their country.

With President Barack Obama all but on the sidelines in the war on Islamic State forces, the Iraqis are looking for help from whoever will provide it.

Nolan Finley

Russia is already making targeted air strikes in Syria — apparently against anti-government forces backed by the CIA.

These are not healthy developments. It is not likely the U.S. will fight side-by-side with Russia in Iraq; should Russia decide to come in, Obama would have to decide whether to continue supporting the Iraqis, or attempt to convince Putin to stand down. And Russia’s support of the Assad regime in Syria puts it in direct conflict with American interests and activities in that country.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the young presidential campaign is still focused on immigration and Planned Parenthood. Candidates should start doing their foreign policy homework.

This could quickly turn into a national security election.