The United States does not understand the nexus of religion and identity in many parts of the world. Years of trying to sort out sectarian issues in Iraq should induce a degree of caution in Washington that the United States should become directly involved in these matters. Above all, the United States should continue to adhere to its core values of freedom of religion and freedom of association—and encourage all the stakeholders in this process to do the same.
Nikolas K. Gvosdev, a contributing editor at the National Interest, is a professor of national-security studies at the U.S. Naval War College. The views expressed are entirely his own.