Monday, November 17, 2014

Third Time's the Charm? U.S. Preparing for Full-Scale Invasion of Iraq

Iraq war casualties
Just last week, President Obama ordered 1500 troops to be deployed to Iraq, effectively doubling the number of U.S. personnel in the region. After several devastating defeats by ISIS, the Iraqi military needs more training from U.S. advisers before it can take their country back from Al Baghdadi's ragtag army.
However, before any of those 1500 troops set foot on Iraqi soil, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have already recommended that the U.S. send even more soldiers into the troubled nation. And this time, they won't just be advisers and support troops. They're recommending that we deploy these men to actively engage ISIS alongside Iraqi forces.
The top-ranking officer in the American military said on Thursday that the US is actively considering the direct use of troops in the toughest upcoming fights against the Islamic State (Isis) in Iraq, less than a week after Barack Obama doubled troop levels there.
General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, indicated to the House of Representatives armed services committee that the strength of Isis relative to the Iraqi army may be such that he would recommend abandoning Obama’s oft-repeated pledge against returning US ground troops to combat in Iraq.
Whatever happened to ending the war in Iraq? Think back to when Obama was elected in 2008. Wasn't that his main selling point? America wanted to cut Iraq loose once and for all, consequences be damned. We knew that we had to let Iraq stand on its own two feet. I understand that no president has ever lived up to all of his campaign promises, but this was the big one. Americans were tired of Bush's war, and ending it once and for all was the main reason that he was elected.

From this point on, President Obama will be remembered as the man who tricked America into accepting universal healthcare, and nothing more. There's literally nothing else that is remarkable about his administration. Obamacare is the only promise he managed to pull off, and it's a complete disaster. His administration is nothing more than Bush's fourth term in office, which is the only reasonable explanation for the desire keep this war going.

I digress. Don't think for a moment that this is going to be a small peacekeeping mission to help shore up the Iraqi's defenses. This is a classic case of mission creep. Before we know it, there will be a full-scale invasion of Iraq.
Even with potential US involvement in ground combat looming, Dempsey and Hagel said further troop increases would be “modest” and not on the order of the 150,000 US troops occupying Iraq at the height of the 2003-2011 war.
“I just don’t foresee a circumstance when it would be in our interest to take this fight on ourselves with a large military contingent,” Dempsey said.
But should the Iraqi military prove unwilling to take back “al-Anbar province and Ninewa province” – the majority of territory in Iraq seized by Isis – or should the new Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, exclude Sunnis from power, “I will have to adjust my recommendations,” Dempsey said.
Furthermore, the Iraqi military is a complete and utter disaster, which all but guarantees that we will have several divisions stationed in Iraq before the next election. In a recent report from zero hedge, it was mentioned that Iraq is going to need a lot more assistance before it can stand on its own.
Iraq will need about 80,000 effective military troops to retake the terrain it lost to Islamic State militants and restore its border with Syria, the top U.S. general said on Thursday.
"We're going to need about 80,000 competent Iraqi security forces to recapture territory lost, and eventually the city of Mosul, to restore the border," Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, told a congressional hearing.
Think of the implications of that statement. Currently the Iraqi Army consists of 283,000 active duty soldiers, and 500,000 reservists. That means that when we pulled out of Iraq, we left them with less than 80,000 competent soldiers. After nearly a decade of occupation, all we could muster was a skeleton crew to watch over one of the most volatile regions on the planet.

And now our government refuses to cut its losses. We're never going to “win” in Iraq because there is nothing left for us to win. We have nothing to gain, and everything to lose. It's time to leave Iraq once and for all, before we're dragged into another war with no clear objective, and no end in sight.

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