Air strikes alone won't defeat ISIL. The organisation is clearly goading the West into direct confrontation. Once we get the first pictures of Muslim women and children killed by US missiles, no matter how isolated these incidents would be, that would up the ante in ISIL's propaganda war. This is when allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar will get cold feet.
Following the horrific killing of the US photo-journalist James Foley, international anti-Islamic State rhetoric has gone up a notch. World leaders are all inveighing against the group. But in truth it's still not really clear what's being done to help the Yezidis, the Christians, the Shi'a Turkmen, the Shabaks, and indeed anyone in Iraq (including Sunni Muslims) threatened by the Islamic State and other armed jihadi groups.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of accounts on Twitter that promote and justify killings of civilians in Iraq, as well as Kurdistan. Some of the accounts tweet in Arabic, but have a English disclaimer that says, "Not IS". Other accounts are promoting IS ideological beliefs and urging others to join IS.
The Kurds of Iraq cannot be accused of impatience over exploiting their energy riches. Oil has been underground for millennia and as it bubbled to the surface was used in traditional medical treatments. But those who ruled Iraq neglected it, apart from the Kirkuk region which was forcibly taken from the Kurds...
Soft power can influence others to want the same things as the UK "by building positive international relationships and coalitions which defend our interests and security, uphold our national reputation and promote our trade and prosperity." The report also says it should be carefully combined with hard power, essentially military force, to form "smart power."
The decision by the influential Foreign Affairs Select Committee in the British Parliament to initiate an in-depth and comprehensive inquiry into all aspects of the Kurdistan Region is a triumph for all those who have long argued for the need to increase understanding between the UK and the Kurdistan Region.