The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that, public protestations to the contrary about no boots on the ground, the Obama administration is contemplating a military expedition to rescue the Yazidi people now trapped on Mount Sinjar. This would likely involved American troops engaged in combat with ISIS terrorists for the first time. Hitherto the Obama administration has confined itself to targeted air strikes, air dropped supplies, and having a handful of Yazidis evacuated by helicopter. The administration has also started to covertly supply Kurdish militia now fighting ISIS with weapons.
Such an expedition would involve the deployment of thousands of troops in the interior of Iraq. This would include far heavier air support than has hitherto been the case. Adding the personnel needed to remove the Yazidis to safety and to treat those with wounds or other health issues, and what is being contemplated is the biggest operation in Iraq since the surge of 2007 and 2008.
The undertaking would take place just before an election in which many Democratic seats in Congress hang in the balance. President Obama would not only be implicitly acknowledging that his decision to withdraw troops from Iraq was a mistake but would be reneging on his pledge not to send troops back to that country. Therefore, Hot Air has concluded, Obama will never go through with such an operation.
The implication that a president of the United States would let 40,000 innocents die just to maintain his political standing is bone chilling, to say the least. That may be why the president decided to pull the trigger, as it were. The risks of not doing it far outweigh the risks of doing it.
On the other hand there is the question of how far the American expeditionary force should go. Should it content itself with extracting the Yazidi, or should it resolve to drive ISIS out of Iraq, liberating the towns such as Mosul that it has occupied, killing as many of its fighters as possible. The Yazidis are only a few of the victims of the terrorist army. Christians and even many Muslims are being killed and otherwise misused. If we rescue the Yazidis, why not everyone? That is something Obama needs to think about.