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More American War in Iraq?

 
 
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 07:58 pm
The government there is requesting strikes from us. I hope we don't get into another prolonged presence in that country.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 28 • Views: 23,824 • Replies: 652

 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 08:03 pm
WASHINGTON — As the threat from Sunni militants in western Iraq escalated last month, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki secretly asked the Obama administration to consider carrying out airstrikes against extremist staging areas, according to Iraqi and American officials.

But Iraq’s appeals for military assistance have so far been rebuffed by the White House, which has been reluctant to open a new chapter in a conflict that President Obama has insisted was over when the United States withdrew the last of its forces from Iraq in 2011.

The swift capture of Mosul by militants aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has underscored how the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have converged into one widening regional insurgency with fighters coursing back and forth through the porous border between the two countries. But it has also cast a spotlight on the limits the White House has imposed on the use of American power in an increasingly violent and volatile region.

A spokeswoman for the National Security Council, Bernadette Meehan, declined to comment on Mr. Maliki’s requests and the administration’s response, saying in a statement, “We are not going to get into details of our diplomatic discussions, but the government of Iraq has made clear that they welcome our support” in combating the Islamic extremists.

The Obama administration has carried out drone strikes against militants in Yemen and Pakistan, where it fears terrorists have been hatching plans to attack the United States. But despite the fact that Sunni militants have been making steady advances and may be carving out new havens from which they could carry out attacks against the West, administration spokesmen have insisted that the United States is not actively considering using warplanes or armed drones to strike them.

Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq’s foreign minister, last year floated the idea that armed American-operated Predator or Reaper drones might be used to respond to the expanding militant network in Iraq. American officials dismissed that suggestion at the time, saying that the request had not come from Mr. Maliki.

By March, however, American experts who visited Baghdad were being told that Iraq’s top leaders were hoping that American air power could be used to strike the militants’ staging and training areas inside Iraq, and help Iraq’s beleaguered forces stop them from crossing into Iraq from Syria.

“Iraqi officials at the highest level said they had requested manned and unmanned U.S. airstrikes this year against ISIS camps in the Jazira desert,” said Kenneth M. Pollack, a former C.I.A. analyst and National Security Council official, who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and who visited Baghdad in early March. ISIS is the acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, as the militant group is known.

As the Sunni insurgents have grown in strength those requests have persisted. In a May 11 meeting with American diplomats and Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the head of the Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, Mr. Maliki said that he would like the United States to provide Iraq with the ability to operate drones. But if the United States was not willing to do that, Mr. Maliki indicated he was prepared to allow the United States to carry out strikes using warplanes or drones.


In a May 16 phone call with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Maliki again suggested that the United States consider using American airpower. A written request repeating that point was submitted soon afterward, officials said.

Some experts say that such American military action could be helpful but only if Mr. Maliki takes steps to make his government more inclusive.

“U.S. military support for Iraq could have a positive effect but only if it is conditioned on Maliki changing his behavior within Iraq’s political system,” Mr. Pollack said. “He has to bring the Sunni community back in, agree to limits on his executive authority and agree to reform Iraqi security forces to make them more professional and competent.”

But so far administration has signaled that it not interested in such a direct American military role.

“Ultimately, this is for the Iraqi security forces, and the Iraqi government to deal with,” Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said on Tuesday.

The deteriorating situation in Iraq is not what the Obama administration expected when it withdrew the last American troops from there in 2011. In a March 2012 speech, Antony J. Blinken, who is Mr. Obama’s deputy national security adviser, asserted that “Iraq today is less violent” than “at any time in recent history.”

From the start, experts have stressed that the conflict in Iraq is as much political as military. Mr. Maliki’s failure to include leading Sunnis in his government has heightened the sectarian divisions in Iraq.

But American officials also say that militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria represent a formidable military threat, one that Iraq’s security forces, which lack an effective air force, have been hard pressed to handle on their own.


ISIS grew out of Al Qaeda in Iraq, the militant group that American forces fought during their war there. But while the capabilities of the militants have grown, the Iraq’s military’s effectiveness has diminished.

Adding to that challenge is the fact that the group controls territory on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border, and the Iraq and Syria conflicts have been feeding each other.

Said Lakhdar Brahimi, the former United Nations envoy to the collapsed Syria peace talks: “The region is in trouble, starting with Iraq. When I went to Baghdad in December, I was told that for every 100 operations ISIS did in Syria, it did 1,000 in Iraq.”

Critics say the latest developments show the weakness in an administration strategy designed to shore up Iraqi forces and to combat a growing Islamic militancy in Syria that officials say poses an increasing counterterrorism threat to the United States.

In a speech on Wednesday, Susan E. Rice, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, said that the American effort to buttress Iraq’s forces have been effective. “The United States has been fast to provide necessary support for the people and government of Iraq,” she said in remarks at the Center for New American Security in Washington.

The United States has provided a $14 billion foreign military aid package to Iraq that includes F-16 fighter jets, Apache attack helicopters and M-16 rifles. It has rushed hundreds of Hellfire missiles as well as ScanEagle reconnaissance drones.

A second round of counterterrorism training between American Special Operations commandos and Iraqi troops started in Jordan this week. At least two F-16s are set to arrive in Iraq by September, and six Apaches will be leased for training later this year, Iraqi and Pentagon officials said.

But some former generals who served in Iraq said a greater effort was needed.

James M. Dubik, a retired Army lieutenant general who oversaw the training of the Iraqi army during the surge, summed it up this way: “We should fly some of our manned and unmanned aircraft and put advisers into Iraq that can help the Iraqi Army plan and execute a proper defense, then help them transition to a counter offensive.”

Alissa J. Rubin contributed reporting from Paris.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2014 09:00 pm
It seems both the US and the UK promise support just short of manpower.
0 Replies
 
Lordyaswas
 
  4  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 12:49 am
Mission accomplished, eh?

Why don't they send in our Middle East Peace Ambassador.


Tony Blair.


No, seriously.



Stop laughing at the back. That's his honest to god title.


No, really......
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 03:00 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
The government there is requesting strikes from us. I hope we don't get into another prolonged presence in that country.

Better to just let al-Qa'ida massacre every American on the planet I suppose.
Lordyaswas
 
  3  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 03:35 am
@oralloy,
Here we go, the armchair warriors are polishing up their medals again.

All we need now is a third Bush an off we go.


I'm buying shares in Halliburton.

hawkeye10
 
  3  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 03:41 am
@Lordyaswas,
Lordyaswas wrote:

Mission accomplished, eh?

Why don't they send in our Middle East Peace Ambassador.


Tony Blair.


No, seriously.



Stop laughing at the back. That's his honest to god title.


No, really......


Tony and George wish that Saddam was still around to keep a lid on things....
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 04:11 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Tony and George wish that Saddam was still around to keep a lid on things....


Not sure if that's true, but one thing's for certain, the first half of the 21st Century will be dominated by the fallout from Bush's disastrous presidency.

When 9/11 happened Al Qaida was a tiny, albeit fairly rich due to Saudi oil money, group, dependent on the goodwill of its Taliban hosts. Now ISIS controls vast areas of Iraq and Syria and numbers hundreds of thousands of fanatical hardened soldiers.

And that's not including Boko Haram. Bin Laden played Bush, Bush did everything Laden wanted, with bells on.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 04:59 am
@Lordyaswas,
Lordyaswas wrote:
Here we go, the armchair warriors are polishing up their medals again.

You can advocate, if you wish, that your government allow al-Qa'ida to chop off your head.

I intend to advocate that my government do whatever possible to protect me from al-Qa'ida.


Lordyaswas wrote:
All we need now is a third Bush an off we go.

Come primary election day, I'll see what I can do to accommodate you. I'm thinking of crossing party lines and voting for Jeb. Eight more years of a Bush presidency would suit me just fine.

But I have to warn you that I've heard that the Tea Party isn't so hot on Jeb. If they manage to get their own candidate picked, God knows who it'll be. Someone scary I imagine.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 05:00 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
Tony and George wish that Saddam was still around to keep a lid on things....

Perhaps. But hindsight is always 20/20.

The important thing now is to nip the Caliphate in the bud before it starts expanding.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 12:00 pm

Looks like maybe Obama is considering the Libya model, where local people do the fighting on the ground, but we provide them with close air support as they advance on the enemy.
hawkeye10
 
  4  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 12:38 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:


Looks like maybe Obama is considering the Libya model, where local people do the fighting on the ground, but we provide them with close air support as they advance on the enemy.

The Libya model was the Iraq model, remove the guy running the place and then do nothing as the country falls into chaos.

Both cases have worked out so well for us!
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 04:27 pm
The question should be decided based not on the president's distaste for foreign intervention, or a fear of bucking the polls suggested "war weariness" of the American people.

It should be decided based on:

1)The extent of the threat to our national interests if al-Qaeda were to be successful in taking control of Iraq

2)The likelihood of the Iraqi government preventing #1 from happening and regaining control of the territory al-Qaeda has seized, without the military assistance it has requested.

3) The likelihood of #1 occurring if al-Qaeda is not defeated and cast out of Mosul

I think a pretty convincing argument can be made that al-Qaeda establishing control of the resources and status (no matter how diminished by their control) of a nation presents a significant threat to our national interests. If President Obama didn't believe their organization (and its affiliates) were not a significant threat, there would be no drones dispatched to kill their leaders and he wouldn't have used "Bin-Laden is dead and al-Qaeda is on the run!" as a campaign slogan.

I can't answer questions #2 and #3 but would hope that our intelligence services haven't degraded to the point where they cannot be relied upon to formulate an assessment of enough accuracy that they could deliver the basis of whether to provide Iraq with the assistance it has requested.

It seems to me if that a case for providing the Libyan rebels with air support for their revolution, then one can be made for providing the same support to the Iraqi government that we helped install.

edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 08:16 pm
Iran steps in to help historical foe
By Lisa DaftariPublished June 12, 2014FoxNews.comFacebook2213
Iran is coming to the aid of its historic nemesis, sending elite fighters to Iraq in the wake of a Sunni insurgency that has claimed two key northern cities and now threatens Baghdad, Fox News has learned.

Some 150 fighters from the Revolutionary Guards elite Quds force have already been dispatched by Tehran, and the division's powerful commander, Qassem Suleimani, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Thursday and pledged to send two notorious Iranian brigades to aid in the defense of Baghdad. That could amount to as many as 10,000 soldiers sent to fight the Sunni group known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

Maliki is believed to be considering the offer, especially in light of reported decisions by the U.S. to reject his request for American airstrikes against the Al Qaeda-affiliated militants who have recently overrun Mosul and Tikrit and appear to be preparing for a march on the capital. The two brigades that Suleimani offered are Asaab Ahel Haq, a Shi’ite paramilitary unit, and the Shi’ite insurgency group Kata'ib Hezbollah.

“Baghdad is going to be overrun. The Green Zone is going down.”
- U.S. intelligence official
After U.S.-trained security forces dropped their weapons and fled their posts in Mosul, the regime in Baghdad has reason to fear for its survival, an intelligence official said.

“Baghdad is going to be overrun," he said. "The Green Zone is going down.”

Although Iran and Iraq were at war in the 1980s, both the Maliki regime and the rulers in Tehran are Shi'ite, and Iran does not want a fanatical jihadist takeover of its neighbor. Iran has positioned troops along its border with Iraq and has threatened to bomb opposition forces if they come within about 60 miles of Iran’s border, according to an Iranian army general.

News about the fall of these two cities, which caused about 500,000 to flee, worried Iran. Mosul is in the western Iraqi province of the Biblically-mentioned Nineveh, which shares a 300-mile border with Syria, where the Iranian government has been pulling the political and financial puppet strings to keep President Bashar al-Assad in power against the opposing rebels and militants.

In addition to protecting the strategic border to Syria, Iran’s government has interests in safeguarding holy shrines and sites in Najaf and Karbala, significant to the Shiite Islamic religion. Many Iranians make pilgrimage to these sites every year.

Predominantly Shiite Muslim Iran will combat the "violence and terrorism" of Sunni extremists who have launched an anti-government offensive in neighboring Iraq, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned on Thursday.

“This is an extremist, terrorist group that is acting savagely," Rouhani said live on state television.

If Iraq's pleas for support are rebuffed by the U.S., it may have no choice but to turn to Iran, said experts.

“My sources tell me Maliki believes he is in a desperate situation and wants and needs our support," said retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane, former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army. "If he doesn't get it in a way that will help him, he will certainly turn to Iran.”

Iran has more to offer than just the region's most powerful army, Keane said. Tehran could support Maliki with intelligence and advisors, too.

ISIS, a Sunni Islamic jihadi group, which is an offshoot of Al Qaeda, has gained control of geopolitically vital cities in both Syria and Iraq over the last year. It considers Shi'ite Muslims heretics that must be killed at the sword. Its goal is to cleanse Iraq from its Shiite influences.

ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani said in an audio released by intelligence sources that the group is planning to march toward Baghdad and other pivotal cities, including Karbala and Najaf.

"March to Baghdad al-Rashid, the Baghdad of the Caliphate. We have a score to settle...Be certain of the victory of Allah as long as you fear Him," Al-Adnani said in the recording.

As ISIS forces have stormed their way across northern Iraq, they have put into effect Sharia law on the citizens of Nineveh province, circulating a document on social media warning local leaders and religious sheikhs not to “work with (the Iraqi) government and be traitors.” The document also prohibits women from leaving the house unless absolutely necessary and for women to “dress decently and wear wide clothes.”

The document also bans drugs, alcohol, cigarettes in public and the possession of guns and non- ISIS flags.

ISIS terrorists in Iraq are allegedly made up of Tunisians and Yemenis, along with other “international fighters,” according to one Iraqi witness.

As the militants went from Mosul to Tikrit, they seized oil fields in Salahuddin province and looted the central bank and collected $420 million. They also took 48 Turkish citizens hostage as they seized the Turkish consulate in Mosul, which could bring another regional power down on them. Many eyes are on Turkey, a NATO ally, that has shown interest in northern Iraq for some time now for economic reasons and to support Iraq’s marginalized Kurdish minority.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey held an emergency briefing with high ranking security officials and the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, who said, “No one should try to test the limits of Turkey’s strength.”

Fox News' James Rosen contributed to this report.
0 Replies
 
Lordyaswas
 
  3  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2014 11:56 pm
@oralloy,
........"Come primary election day, I'll see what I can do to accommodate you. I'm thinking of crossing party lines and voting for Jeb. Eight more years of a Bush presidency would suit me just fine....."

You mean a sort of "Return Of The Sheeple" type vote swing?

oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2014 06:24 am
@Lordyaswas,
Lordyaswas wrote:
You mean a sort of "Return Of The Sheeple" type vote swing?

I don't know. You'll have to clarify what that means before I can say yes or no.

If this helps: the Bush family are good solid conservatives, and you know exactly what you're getting when you put one of them in the White House. Nice and reliable, with no unpleasant surprises.

There are likely other conservatives who would do well, but it's nice to have a good safe conservative choice.

I've heard that Romney is considering another run. I'm comfortable voting for him too. Good solid businessman.
0 Replies
 
revelette2
 
  4  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2014 06:32 am
We did create this mess, it might be like Colin Powell said, "you break it, you own it." I hope not, in the event we do something, I hope it is only air support, not a full on take over.


Quote:

The U.S. has so far rebuffed these requests for direct intervention. “Ultimately, this is for the Iraqi security forces, and the Iraqi government to deal with,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John F. Kirby said Tuesday. But President Obama on Thursday said, “I don’t rule out anything because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foot hold in either Iraq or Syria, for that matter.” White House officials have since denied any chance of ground troops being used in Iraq, but drone strikes remain a possibility.

Amazingly enough, should the U.S. choose to intervene militarily, it would place America as an ally of Iran in fighting ISIS. The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that Tehran has deployed two battalions of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to take on ISIS. “Combined Iraqi-Iranian forces had retaken control across 85% of Tikrit, the birthplace of former dictator Saddam Hussein, according to Iraqi and Iranian security sources,” the Journal said, adding that they were also “helping guard the capital Baghdad and the two cities of Najaf and Karbala.”

Upping the chance that the U.S. gets directly involved again, dozens of Turkish citizens are currently being held after ISIS militants stormed a consulate in Mosul. Turkey has promised to retaliate if any are hurt and as Turkey is a fellow member of NATO, should it call on the U.S. for support in its defense, the U.S. is bound to respond in some way.

3. No one has any idea what is going to happen next.

For months in its Iraqi exploits, the rebranded ISIS has stuck to the script of its predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq, setting off car bombs and other improvised explosive devices in Shiite-populated areas. This was extremely effective and highly lethal, leading to last year being the most violent year since the end of the U.S. war ended.

In January, however, something shifted. They captured and managed to hold Fallujah, despite heavy fire from the Iraqi Army. They’ve freed scores of their supporters from Iraqi prisions over teh last year. They stolen millions of dollars from Mosul’s banks on Tuesday. And they’ve begun recruiting throughout the cities they’ve captured, playing off of Sunni dissatisfaction with the rule of al-Maliki. And they still continue to fight on in neighboring Syria.

Despite setbacks in Tikrit and Kirkuk, ISIS still remains unchallenged in Mosul and continues to push south towards Baghdad. The odds of ISIS fighters actually capturing the capital remain slim. However, given that few would have predicted the stunning speed at which the militants have taken territory in the past days, it seems unwise to rule out any possibility. With the resources that are now in the possession of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the dream of creating a state carved out of Iraq and Syria could well be in the process of coming to fruition. Whether or not they actually manage to complete that plan depends on whether or not the Iraqi government pulls together for long enough to actually inspire their troops to fight back, whether the United States decides to intervene, and whether Iranian and Kurdish forces can turn the tide alone. It’s a lot of “whether”s for an extremely volatile situation.


source

tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2014 06:37 am
@edgarblythe,
I wonder when they'd come out with Version 3.0 of that product.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2014 06:39 am
@revelette2,
Quote:
Amazingly enough, should the U.S. choose to intervene militarily, it would place America as an ally of Iran in fighting ISIS.

Maybe an opportunity to forge better relations with Iran, if they are willing to forgo nuclear weapons.
revelette2
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jun, 2014 07:02 am
@tsarstepan,
Yeah, like we are just itching to get back to Iraq, personally, I can't think of anything worse for the US.
 

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