Saturday, June 06, 2015

Is the U.S. really making the same mistake in Iraq once again?

Yesterday it was announced that the U.S. is providing up to a $billion worth or more of additional weapons to the Iraqi government of Prime Minister al-Abadi.  In other words, Obama is giving the weapons to the Shiite central government, with nothing to the Kurds in the north or to any moderate Sunni tribal areas.  The Obama administration continues to believe in the unified state concept of Iraq when there is zero evidence to suggest that this view is accurate.

He is handing the weapons to an Iraqi army that has already lost billions of dollars of U.S. donated equipment to ISIS forces, as they do not fight with any efficiency, if at all.  The Kurds in the north are by far Iraq's most effective fighting force and as usual there is no mention of aid or equipment for them, and they desperately need more weapons, and more sophisticated weapons like Obama is giving the inept central government forces.  The Kurds would use these weapons effectively and, if recent history is any guide, there is no way that they would give up the weapons to ISIS and run. There is no mention either of providing weapons to moderate Sunni tribal areas.

It is completely incorrect to think that Sunni tribal areas generally support ISIS.  Most Sunnis in Iraq do not believe in the harsh supposed Islamic "justice" that ISIS promulgates and they do not support the creed of embracing horrific atrocities, promoting them on social media,  and ruling by fear.  What the Sunni areas are motivated by, unfortunately, is a complete distaste for the Shiite central government which has starved them of resources.  The U.S. cannot simply overlook the Sunnis in Iraq and think that al-Abadi will be inclusive.  The hard evidence is that he will not be.

That the U.S. administration seems to simply want to be blind to these facts is unfortunate.  Even if the Iraqi army can retake Ramadi with the support of significant U.S. air power, the city will be partially destroyed and the residents will be even more inclined to support ISIS, simply as a protection against the central government.

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