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Letter: Mideast solutions before 2016 election

Displaced Iraqis from Ramadi rest before crossing the

Displaced Iraqis from Ramadi rest before crossing the Bzebiz bridge after spending the night walking towards Baghdad, as they flee their hometown, 65 km west of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, May 16, 2015. Credit: AP

I keep hearing politicians, mostly those preparing for the 2016 elections, criticizing President Barack Obama for losing or abandoning the Middle East to the Islamic State group, or ISIS ["Graham closer to announcing," News, May 19].

What I don't hear is a proposed solution to remedy the situation. With a stunning lack of understanding of the consequences, in 2004 we destroyed Iraq's army and government, which admittedly were despotic, and replaced them with nothing remotely viable.

Suppose we sent in U.S. soldiers. Would it solve the problem? The enemy can easily withdraw and leave our men and women to make sand castles. How long would we stay? How would Americans react when ISIS snipes, raids and succeeds in kidnapping and, heaven forbid, beheading some of our soldiers?

ISIS seems willing to sacrifice however many of its people it takes to get a few of ours. What's next? Nukes?

It would be nice to hear someone propose something realistic and doable, not to mention acceptable, to the American people. Oh, and please do so before the 2016 elections. I'm old enough to remember Richard Nixon's "secret" plan to get us out of Vietnam with honor. We all know how that worked out.

Steven London, Dix Hills