Thursday, July 3, 2014

Is Iraq Going to be Another Vietnam?

     First I certainly hope not and I don't think that it will.  My concern however is mission creep.  When I first heard a week or so ago that Obama was sending 300 or so soldiers to Iraq for embassy guarding and to advise the Iraqi military, I thought that the administration must be concerned enough about the fall of Baghdad they are beefing up security of the embassy even more.  Hopefully we aren't going to see a repeat of 1975 with people being evacuated from the rooftops[ of the embassy in Saigon as Saigon was being taken over.  Hopefully this won't happen again in Baghdad.  Also I was wondering why does the Iraqi Army need US military advisers?  We spent billions of dollars training the Iraqi Army and aren't they capable of defending Baghdad and regrouping to fight off ISIS after their initial disgrace of running away in their first encounters with ISIS ?  Running away in the ten's of thousands leaving behind their equipment.  Apparently we didn't train the Iraqis well enough or their soldiers felt that what they were fighting for was not worth their life or a combination of these or other reasons.

       Now we hear this week that we are sending in another 300 or so troops to advise the Iraqi army.  Didn't we train the Iraqi to deal with such a situation?  Why are they overwhelmed so much that they need our help?  Do they have in the back of their minds that don't worry the US will come in and save them?  I don't know.  What I do know is that we keep sending in more advisers just like what we did in the beginning of our involvement in Vietnam.  The President has said that we will not be putting in any boots on the ground.  I guess that means that we will not have soldiers with guns fighting in the streets.  But what do advisers do?  Sit outside the battles and observe and advise the Iraqis what to do?  Plan strategies for the Iraqis to defend Baghdad and maybe to start a counteroffensive?  Didn't we train them to do that?  Don't they have generals who know how to do that?  They are generals after all don't they know what to do?  Why do they need our help?  Do advisers depend on Iraqis to tell them what is going on and for intelligence.   I guess we have no confidence in the Iraqi or that they are doing.  What if a US adviser goes out into the field and gets killed. or a US pilot is shot down and captured?  What will we do?

    We were suppose to be done with Iraq when we pulled out in 2011.  The Iraqi government did not want any US combat troops stationed in Iraq so we left except for soldiers guarding the embassy or so I thought.  Are we going to keep sending in more advisers?  I hope not.  The middle east is important for oil coming to the US that is not reason enough to get involved in a religious civil war.  I know there are concerns about ISIS as a terrorist group but Afghanistan and Iraq should have given us lessons on appropriate ways of dealing with terrorist groups.  Starting large wars or restarting a war is not a solution to that problem.

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