Sunday, August 10, 2014

Early Retreat from Mesopotamia?

Now that President Obama declared that the United States would commence air strikes in Iraq for humanitarian help to the Yazidis who ISIS is committing genocide, one can wonder if Mr. Obama lead America on an early retreat from Mesopotomia.

President Obama has declared that there will be no soldiers deployed  for these new missions over Iraq.  Perhaps he thinks that unless there are boots on the ground that there is not war.  But the Military Times reports that these "targeted air strikes" will require 15,000 troops. Because there are no longer American troops stationed in Iraq, this will have to be done via carriers or distant air bases.

 It is a pity that the Obama Administration failed to secure a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, so America abandoned its military equipment there (in many cases now in ISIS hands) to withdraw from Iraq.  This suited President Obama as he promised to end the war in Iraq before the 2012 Presidential election, and he did-- sort of.

Mr. Obama blames the Maliki government for not agreeing to a SOFA.  Perhaps some blame lies with Chief US negotiator Vice President Joe Biden.  But this was more likely a SOFA strategy designed to fail from the Oval Office .  Having US troops with immunity in Iraq would be a tough sell for the Maliki government. The Pentagon wanted 10,000 to 15,000 troops and they were wanted by the Iraqi government.  The Commander-In-Chief countered with a bid of 3,000 troops.  This token level was unacceptable to the Iraqi government as it was ineffective and not worth the heat in their domestic politics.  So President Obama could brag about bringing the boys back home from Iraq for his re-election campaign as a promise kept.

And here we are today.  Bringing the fight back to Iraq after an early retreat. Not having the infrastructure on the ground which American troops fought so hard.  Needing to do costly missions from carriers.  Fighting an evil enemy with too little and to late help to prevent humanitarian atrocities with Christians, Yazidis and Sunni Muslims who do not suit ISIS.

So Mr. Obama announced timorous airstrikes without a set strategy or a timetable.  Then Mr Obama flew off to Martha's Vineyard for another several week vacation.  . 

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