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Benghazi blowback hamstrings US role in post-IS Iraq

Congress is weighing America's role after Mosul amid looming budget cuts and paralyzing partisanship.
Armed members of Shi'ite militia Hashid Shaabi ride a motorbike near Qayyara, south of Mosul, Iraq October 27, 2016. Smoke in the background is from burning oilfields set ablazed by Islamic State fighters. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic - RTX2QNPU

Congress is struggling to figure out America's diplomatic role in Iraq after the Islamic State's defeat amid looming budget cuts and a risk-averse culture following the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Just back from a trip to Iraq and Lebanon, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., warned Feb. 28 that there is a risk that Shiite militias in Iraqi could become a major political force just like Hezbollah in Lebanon. He urged a "longer-term political commitment" in Iraq to help reconcile warring sectarian parties and stop that from happening.

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