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2014年8月12日 (火)

米軍イラク空爆 オバマ大統領の苦渋の決断だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Decision to launch Iraq air strikes a wrenching choice for Obama
米軍イラク空爆 オバマ大統領の苦渋の決断だ

U.S. forces have launched air strikes in Iraq against an Islamic extremist group. This is the first U.S. military intervention since U.S. forces withdrew completely from Iraq in 2011.
 米軍がイラクで、イスラム過激派組織に対する空爆に踏み切った。

For the administration of President Barack Obama, which has touted the pullout from Iraq as one of its major accomplishments, the decision to militarily intervene again signifies a policy change toward Iraq.
 2011年に米軍がイラクから全面撤収して以来、初の軍事介入だ。
 イラクからの米軍撤収を大きな成果に掲げてきたオバマ政権にとって、再度の軍事介入はイラク政策の転換を意味する。

The U.S. strikes are targeting positions of the Islamic State, an extremist organization of the Islamic Sunni sect. U.S. aircraft including fighter planes and unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs) have repeatedly bombed such targets as mortar positions of the Islamic State.
 米軍が空爆したのは、イスラム教スンニ派の過激派組織「イスラム国」の拠点だ。米空母搭載の戦闘攻撃機や無人攻撃機が、迫撃砲陣地などを繰り返し爆撃した。

Having expanded its sphere of influence by taking advantage of the civil war in Syria, the Islamic State has launched assaults on other religious sects and ethnic groups, seizing towns and oil fields one after another in Iraq, which is now on the brink of a security collapse.
 イラクでは、シリア内戦に乗じて勢力を拡大したイスラム国が、他の宗派や民族を攻撃し、都市や油田を次々に占拠している。国家崩壊の危機である。

The United States earlier sent such personnel as military advisers to Iraq to help prop up the struggling Iraqi government, but the situation has grown worse and worse. The U.S. decision to embark on military action to rein in the extremists’ offensive is understandable.
 劣勢のイラク政府をテコ入れするため、米国は軍事顧問などを派遣したが、その後も戦況は悪くなるばかりだ。過激派の攻勢に歯止めをかける軍事行動に乗り出したことは理解できる。

Regarding the purpose of the air strikes, Obama referred in a speech on Thursday to the protection of such Americans as diplomats and military advisers who are stationed in Iraq.
 オバマ大統領は目的について、外交官や軍事顧問などイラク在住の米国人の保護を挙げた。

He also pointed out that many Iraqi residents who have fled to the mountains to escape persecution by the extremists are facing death due to a lack of food and water. Emphasizing the humanitarian aspect of the air strikes, he noted current events “would constitute genocide,” and that “the United States cannot turn a blind eye.”
 さらに、過激派の迫害で山岳地帯に逃げ込んだ多数の住民が、食料も水もなく死に直面していると指摘し、「大虐殺に相当する。米国は見て見ぬふりはできない」と、人道的な側面を強調した。

Exit strategy unclear

Britain and France have expressed their unequivocal support for the U.S. air strikes, which were made in response to requests from the Iraqi government. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has also expressed a degree of understanding, saying the air strikes should be deemed as “part of the fight against terrorism.”
 イラクの要請に基づく今回の空爆に対し、英仏は明確な支持を表明した。岸田外相も、「テロとの戦いの一環」だとして、一定の理解を示した。

With a midterm election scheduled for November in the United States, the air strikes must have been a politically tough decision for the president.
 米国は11月に中間選挙を控えており、空爆は政治的にも難しい決断だったと言えよう。

Many members of the opposition Republican Party have criticized the Obama administration over the deterioration of the Iraq situation, saying it resulted from the administration’s weak-kneed stance.
 イラク情勢の悪化について野党共和党内には、オバマ政権の「弱腰」が原因とする批判が多い。

Meanwhile, many U.S. citizens have opposed sending U.S. troops overseas. Obama strongly denied the possibility of deploying ground troops in his statement, presumably in consideration of such public opinion.
 一方、国民の多くは米軍の海外派兵に反対だ。オバマ氏が地上部隊の派遣を強く否定した背景には世論への配慮もあるのだろう。

It is concerning, however, that the effect of the air strikes is unclear, and the Obama administration has not crafted an exit strategy. Should the air strikes become unnecessarily protracted, fears would then arise of anti-U.S. sentiment that could develop among the Iraqi people.
 懸念されるのは、空爆の効果が不透明で、「出口戦略」が描けていないことだ。いたずらに空爆が長引けば、イラク国民の反米感情が高まる恐れもある。

For the sake of the long-term stabilization of Iraq, it is indispensable to achieve reconciliation among Iraqi communities and improve public order and security by strengthening the Iraqi forces.
 長期的なイラク安定化のためには、イラク国民の融和と、イラク軍の強化による治安の改善を図ることが欠かせない。

It is vitally important to establish a national unity Cabinet involving both the Islamic Sunni and Shiite sects, as well as Kurdish and other participating forces, as early as possible.
 イスラム教のシーア派とスンニ派、クルド人などの各勢力が参画する挙国一致内閣を早期に樹立することが肝要だ。

The United States should tenaciously continue its diplomatic efforts to stabilize the Iraqi situation through cooperation with such nearby countries as Iran, a major power among the Shiite nations, and Saudi Arabia, which has significant influence over Sunni Muslims.
 米国は、シーア派大国のイランや、スンニ派に影響力を持つサウジアラビアなど周辺国と連携し、イラク安定に向けて粘り強く外交努力を続けるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 10, 2014)

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