Iraq

Back to Iraq? No Troops, But Obama Ponders 'Other Options'

Just what the United States can do to deny ISIS further victories in Iraq is an open question.

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Eleven years after then President George W. Bush announced "mission accomplished" and the end of major combat operations in Iraq, and three years after President Barack Obama finally removed the last U.S. troops under pressure from the Iraqi government, American officials contemplate inserting themselves, once again, into that country's bloody troubles. In the wake of the fall of the cities of Mosul and Tikrit to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a splinter group that fell out with al-Qaeda, the president took to the White House South Lawn to promise some sort of military response to the terrorist group's sucesses.

"Over the last year, we've been steadily ramping up our security assistance to the Iraqi government with increased training, equipping and intelligence," said Obama. "Now, Iraq needs additional support to break the momentum of extremist groups and bolster the capabilities of Iraqi security forces.  We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces, and I'll be reviewing those options in the days ahead."

What sort of "other options" are contemplated remain uncertain, though experts speculate that military assistance and airstrikes may be in the works. Still, the president himself acknowledges that Iraqi troops "are not willing to stand and fight" against ISIS, bringing into question the effectiveness of military support for a demoralized army. And airstrikes alone are not generally considered an effective means of taking or holding ground.

Founded in 2004 and originally affiliated with al-Qaeda, ISIS fell out with its parent organization, which it may now be overshadowing. ISIS is said to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians. The group has since expanded into Syria, and flourished during that country's civil war. The organization's goal is to establish an Islamic state in the region—an accomplishment that it appears to be much closer to accomplishing than most people would have believed just weeks ago.

ISIS's triumphed in Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, when government forces simply abandoned their posts. As a result, the organization took the city and its resources intact, including large supplies of weaponry. The group's fighters promptly celebrated their victory by parading through the streets with captured arms and equipment (see image at right and video below).

Just what the United States can do to deny ISIS further victories in Iraq is an open question. But, one way or another, President Obama seems committed to renewing America's role in that country.

NEXT: Airstrikes for Iraq?, Tea Party Freeze-Out, $500 Billion V.A. 'Fix': P.M. Links

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  1. Rats. I want more troops poured back in. Those surprise homecomings are so heartwarming. And those artificial limb tech stocks in my portfolio aren’t going to go up in value by themselves.

    1. With that attitude you could be a politician.

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  2. Now we will learn how stupid the American public really is…

    1. 37% believe we met our goals in Iraq.

      I think that tells you something…..

      While we are discussing Americans, it’s worth noting which persuasions tend to be bigger idiots – from Gallup:

      “Two-thirds of Republicans (68%) say they have a favorable view of the Iraq war, while nearly 9 in 10 Democrats (88%) have an unfavorable view”
      (during height of the war).

      Recently:
      “Two-thirds of Republicans (68%) say they have a favorable view of the Iraq war, while nearly 9 in 10 Democrats (88%) have an unfavorable view”

      So, yes, SOME Americans appear to be idiots – the exact same Americans that the Koch’s and this site want to return to power.

      1. Hey, fucking dipshit, that is TEAM thinking. Has nothing to do with intelligence or anything else.

        Ask people, for example, what they think of Obama’s Dream Act or whatever, and the numbers will be reversed, even though we’re having a humanitarian crisis because of it.

      2. Republicans are likely the biggest threat to America’s national security and long-term economic health. You would think the Commie-Democrats would get that distinction with their endless call for government manipulation of the domestic economy–until I will no longer be able to use the word ‘commie’ with any sarcasm. But no, the GOP is worse. They THINK they favor small government, but that is only true when a Democrat occupies the WH. Under a Republican president, let the state grow and grow, baby.

        And on that note, any war effort under Republican executive leadership is a praiseworthy and noble pursuit of freedom and democracy. Any similar effort by a Democrat, even a smaller one, is an act of tyranny.

        F these Republican douchebags. And stay the F out of Iraq. And get us the F out of Afghanistan. We arrogantly stuck our dicks in other people’s pies; we cannot clean up the mess; now we need to admit it and go home…not stay and make it worse.

      3. So you are telling us you don’t know the difference between a NeoCon Republican and an Anti-War Libertarian?

  3. The only real option is for President Obama to beg Bush and Cheney to “suit up” and lead a Crusader Force back into Iraq. Both men are naval experts and military geniuses.

    1. Both men are naval experts and military geniuses.

      Relative to the current POTUS? Yes they are. Remember that it was Obama who expanded and extended the Afghan war to glorious failure.

      1. Yea, we lost the Afghan War even under dear Leader’s brilliant generalship.

        Obviously, it was due to the rank and file soldiers failure to give all for the glorious cause and not the strategic flaws of the whole strategy coming from the White House.

        1. Yes, because of course the first 7+ years weren’t enough time for GW to beat some stone age guys riding around in pickup trucks……

  4. Every action, or inaction, taken by this CnC in the Middle East has had the effect of helping the Islamists. From Libya in general and Benghazi in specific, in Iraq and in Syria, the Islamist seem to get the better end of his actions or inactions.

    This from the CnC who said publicly that to him the most beautiful sound in the world is the Muslim call to prayer.

    But I’m sure that it’s just a coincidence.

    1. OneOut,

      It seems to me that you are accusing The President of “treason”. Of course you are not doing so directly, but you are implying that. Why would he want to help the Islamists? I am asking this question in a civil manner. It is not a trick question. I am not being sarcastic. I have hears this same thing from many people, as I am sure you have. Of course I have also seen (posters), and heard people call The President a Marxist while believing he is also a Muslim. Somewhat of a contradiction there.

      1. I don’t believe the president to either. But, what is the contadiction? Unless marxism is also a religion.

        1. I would think Marxism is much closer to Sharia law than our current state.

          While I don’t think Obama is a terrorist sleeper, his incompetence means he may as well be one.

          1. No, he is not a terrorist sleeper, he is a terrorist golfer. There is a difference. No, I am not saying he is “Muslim” either. He is a terrorist by the strict definition. His actions overseas, including his sheer delight in dropping bombs and weddings and funerals, are what make him a terrorist.

        2. Not a religion. Just a belief in Santa Claus.

          Wait. Synonyms.

      2. He did send heavy and light weapons to this group as they invaded Syria to defeat Assad who is a killer of his people. Unfortunately our less than intelligent President did not realize these guy are the offshoots of our invaders to the world trade center.

  5. This the cause of all of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..feature=kp

  6. As my vietnam vet friends say “when you find yourself far from home and the home team there are shooting at you, think very hard about what you are doing”……

    Bottom line – if the population is behind the Islamists, they already won.

    Security and basic needs (water, power, medicine) are going to trump the ridiculous idea of Disneyland on the Tigris.

    ISIS is reportedly dispensing “social welfare” – while “our guy” was probably putting billions in foreign banks for his retirement.

    They want and need a dictator – who, unfortunately, will make things much better for them than our current brand of “we want your oil” capitalism.

    1. Look everybody: a troll!

    2. We were getting their oil before the fall of Hussein. So your point is…?!

      1. Of course we (the consumers) will get it. But did Haliburton and Exxon control it? I don’t think so.

        The oil men who have run this country for decades or longer are not interested in whether or not we consumers have cheap oil. What they ARE interested in is power and control over the world’s reserves and maximum profits plus the political power those profits bring.

        1. Wow. What ept analysis you bring. BECAUSE KORPORATIONS!!111!

    3. They did need a dictator. A tyrant of liberty, as Tony would say.

      One thing about our invasions that I didn’t understand. How in the world did we think it would work out if we let these people who have been oppressed since forever create their own government?

      Iraq and Afghanistan don’t have their own Jeffersons and Madisons. How could they? As bad as the British were, America was still relatively prosperous, with many well educated people.

      1. Lot of books on this.
        Hubris

        Apparently, the neo-cons thought the whole thing was a no-brainer. Many of them were starry-eyed young men who honestly thought they’d be welcomed with flowers. Others just enjoyed the extra profits, the idea of controlling more oil, etc….

        It would be easy to say that it was all about oil. But it wasn’t It was about oil and also a bunch of dreamers who honestly thought they were chosen by God to show others how to live.

        1. Judging by the way they have been living up to now I’d say they could use a few pointers from somebody.

    4. They want and need a dictator – who, unfortunately, will make things much better for them than our current brand of “we want your oil” capitalism.

      Yeah, except we don’t need their oil.

  7. I spotted that article at http://www.voanews.com/content…..36207.html who mentionned then China offers to help Iraq

    We got to check also what the Kurds will do, some said they might step on this opportunity to declare independence http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27836520

  8. This terror group is the same that Obama sent heavy and light weapons to in Syria where they killed Syrian any and all men and made women many after being raped follow very strict Sharia making them slaves!
    But, now he wants to let them set their defenses and get some money from oil before doing anything! The Guy is a disaster!

    1. Yeah, and as you know McCain and all the righties are also yappiing about why we didn’t send MORE stuff to the opposition in Syria.

      Obama actually held back against the right wingers by not getting more involved. You should thank him.

      1. Obama actually held back against the right wingers by not getting more involved. You should thank him.

        “Obama was forced to do it!!!” “Those bad guys in the opposition made him do it!!” “All would be perfect if not for THEM!!!”

        You’re not even a very good troll.

  9. WTF is this lefty troll day?

  10. Obama has publicly stated he’ll send “no troops to Iraq”. That being so, he must know that the only alternatives are either to walk away and let the Iraqis (and Syrians) settle the mess themselves, or to send in the spy-drones, missiles, and bombers, and carpet-bomb the ISIS-held territory.

    That last might not be as bad a reaction as middle-class Americans seem to think. The Jihadists, of whatever group with whatever name, have always mistaken mercy and tolerance for weakness; a thorough slaughtering of them would change the minds of the survivors — and onlookers. That’s a lamentable but true characteristic of Arab culture.

  11. The best thing that can happen is for Iraq to split into three nations-after all it is an artificial creation from an archaic colonial past,
    The Shiites can have the south with the huge Iranian influence, the Kurds deserve their own homeland in the northeast, after all they seem to better at self governing then the other two groups,
    last but not least let the north and western parts can be the Sunni area, the ex disenfranchised Saddamities can call that their home,
    This war is old,1000 yrs +, we are naive to think an old British empire border and nation building by a superpower is going to fix rivalries and animosities that have existed for centuries.

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