U.S. President Barack Obama announced Thursday that he was sending up to 300 military advisers to help shore up the besieged government of Iraq. The lightning advance of Sunni militants from the north has revealed the fragility of Iraqi security forces and, by extension, that of the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

A token U.S. force will not turn the tide in Iraq; only sweeping changes, and perhaps even radical options, will stop the disintegration of that country.

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