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NORFOLK -- As the U.S. military buildup in Iraq continues, an Old Dominion University expert on the Middle East tells 13 News Now it is important that any American response to the crisis be limited.

'I would not do that with boots on the ground,' said ODU International Relations Professor Steve Yetiv. Still, he said, it's crucial that the United States play a role, because it has vital interests in Iraq.

'The more stable Iraq is, the less likely Iraq is going to have conflict with neighboring countries,' he said. 'A stable Iraq can help prevent terror groups from building a safe haven there. Third, a stable Iraq is important for global oil security.'

Yetiv, who has spent a career studying the Middle East, says it may have been inevitable that there would be post-war problems in Iraq.

'Long story short, Sadaam Hussein the dictator held Iraq together through sheer brutality,' he noted. 'Iraq is predominantly Shia, Sadaam was a Sunni, so he had to use a lot of force to keep it together. When Sadaam Hussein fell, the United States helped keep Iraq together. After the U.S. left, there was no serious actor who could keep Iraq together.'

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