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No options off the table: Iraq

ISIS in Iraq
ISIS in Iraq
Al-Baraka news VIA AFP - Getty Images.

Kristina Wong reported in The Hill today that a Republican and Democrat representative who are each Iraq War Vets say that the U.S. should be all-in in stopping ISIS from taking over all of Iraq. In the short story, one conclusion is that a proxy war against ISIS is preferred whereby moderate rebels in Syria and united with Kurds, for instance to attack and destroy ISIS. Such scenarios might reduce and contain ISIS with strong U.S. and allied support, short of boots on the ground.

However, much more must be done to understand the situation that is regional and not just Syria and Iraq. The National Politics Examiner is initiating a full investigation and analysis into the greater situation and American foreign policy as there is so much at stake.

Criticism of the Obama approach centers upon his narrowness and apparent lack of comprehensive understanding. It may not be lack of understanding as much as selective attention. For immediate political reasons, i.e. midterm elections, he doesn’t want to add more damage to the precarious situation than he has already on other topics. He would prefer to show great restraint even though critics suggest that a more aggressive approach to ISIS is imperative.

You can’t fight wars in fits and starts. You fight and win them with effective strategy and momentum that begins with solid foreign policy. It is the foreign policy that is incomplete and deficient.

ISIS has been strategic in targeting hydroelectric dams and water supplies as well as oil wells. Iraqis with the aid of the U.S. is making progress toward regaining control of these assets that should not have been lost.

The reason ISIS found advantage was a combination of things:

  1. The Maliki/Iraqi government failed.
  2. The Obama administration withdrew too many troops without a residual reserve of 15,000.
  3. The Obama administration tries to operate on its own timetable versus anticipating and acting to prevent calamities.

The cost for untimely actions by the Obama administration are realized in the following:

  • civilian deaths
  • allied soldier deaths
  • cost to rebuild and react
  • risk and uncertainty

American vets who have risked their lives for Iraq and surely disappointed at seeing ISIS gain control of land where they had restored it. Americans cannot govern for Iraq, nor can they secure it militarily. That must be done by Iraqis who has the will and allegiance to support a federal Iraq.

“Iraq vets on Hill call for stronger response to ISIS

By Kristina Wong - 08/17/14 11:11 AM EDT

Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), both Iraq War veterans, on Sunday called for a robust U.S. response to a terrorist advance in Iraq by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Kinzinger called ISIS's takeover of large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria the "worst-case scenario" for the Middle East.

"This cancer that's growing, that's consuming all over the place," Kinzinger said on ABC's "This Week."

The Illinois Republican called for the U.S. to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels to fight ISIS in Syria as well.

He stopped short of calling for troops on the ground, but said, "at the end of the day, I think the defeating of ISIS is the mission."

"And so, I think everything has to be on the table for that end result," Kinzinger said.

The U.S. has begun an airstrike campaign to protect U.S. citizens and property in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq, as well as to address humanitarian crises faced by Iraqis fleeing ISIS fighters. However, President Obama has made it clear there would be no U.S. "boots on the ground."
Meanwhile, Gabbard called on the U.S. to arm the Kurds in northern Iraq with heavy weapons. The CIA reportedly has been supplying some weapons, but U.S. officials say the Pentagon is planning to do so as well.”

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