20+ yr Infantry Officer.
Visit me at GRUNTSandCo.com. You'll find my commentary on SOFREP, foreignpolicy, DoDBuzz, Defensetech, KitUp, Military.com. Smallwarsjournal
If dissatisfaction were the driving force other anti gov't movements would also be growing than just the radical Islamic groups.
2 days, 6 hours ago on 2x Brit Muslims Fight for ISIS Than UK Military, That’s not the Shocking Part
I either misunderstand you or outright disagree.
I don't see Americans joining ISIS out of frustration with our gov'ts policies. Joining a "militia" yes, ISIS no. That is unless you are a Radical Muslim who expected our gov't to do more for Islamic growth and in that case the withdrawal from Iraq, failure to respond to Benghazi, pending Afghanistan withdrawal etc. would be pleasing to a Radical Muslim.
Now if you are trying to say our incompetence abroad makes us look weak, ineffective and uncoordinated and THAT emboldens those that hate the US, I'd agree wholeheartedly.
Predators target the sick, weak and old first...
2 days, 17 hours ago on 2x Brit Muslims Fight for ISIS Than UK Military, That’s not the Shocking Part
It IS an invasion.
The West, led by the US is doing nothing.
The Russians tested the water at a recent economic meeting that ended a day ago where Putin met with the Ukrainian Pres after MULTIPLE provocations.
It's going to get worse...
The only thing worse than watching a train wreck is watching it while being on the train.
3 days, 7 hours ago on Ukraine detains squad of “lost” Russian paratroopers
I think you've found your niche.
4 days, 8 hours ago on Taking Down ISIS: Jack Murphy on Sun News
The military is a little different. E.G. I have NEVER heard of military law enforcement use the term "person of interest" which civil authorities use all the time and often question without reading them their rights.
ALL my legal training reinforced in me a need to read a soldier his rights immediately upon suspecting a crime occurred and not to have any conversations without this protection for both parties in place. (Two semesters of military law at the Academy, the basic and advanced courses and the commander's course that was required before assuming a company command)
I'm sure a General has even more training and even more importantly, a staff to include legal and law enforcement to keep him on track. If Bergdahl wasn't read his rights, there was a conscious decision to violate standard operating procedure. Those of us with inquiring minds would ask, "Why?"
5 days, 9 hours ago on Bergdahl planning to leave Army & use GI Bill
The optics are bad for those that are watching and/or searching for info. The media is not. Americans simply don't know. They would if the President was from a different party.
5 days, 9 hours ago on What isn’t being asked about the failed Foley rescue?
As expected, silence from the MSM...
Report: Obama waited a month before ordering the James Foley rescue attempt http://hotair.com/archives/2014/08/25/report-obama-waited-a-month-before-ordering-the-james-foley-rescue-attempt/
Why would the President wait? Some sources have said that the President feared a failed raid and being "Carterized" as Carter was after the failed Iran hostage rescue mission in '79. Frankly, I don't think the President is too concerned with looking like a bungler in foreign policy. Others have stated a 4th of July mission would have been good timing. A pretty pathetic reason but considering the data dump on the Syria raid to counter the backlash over the optics of Foley's horrific beheading.... Some would think that putting troops at greater risk on future ops is pathetic yet we keep having decisions that are pretty hard to rationally explain.
Well that is if anyone were asking questions...
6 days, 8 hours ago on What isn’t being asked about the failed Foley rescue?
Very good point.
I doubt the manner of display is an accident. Look at the resistance to a simple iron cross by some. How dare we remember the attack was responded to by men with guns! OH! It makes my touchy-feely molecules shudder (or maybe that's just gas?).
Thanks Jack, NYC hasn't changed a bit.
6 days, 16 hours ago on Horse Soldier Horror in New York City
This Pres won't even watch the video. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/22/us/politics/a-terrorist-horror-then-golf-incongruity-fuels-obama-critics.html?_r=0 Though he did get a round of golf in after commenting on Foley's beheading.
When has a President (even in fiction) not watched something like this? Imagine what the public's reaction would be to such a portrayal or knowledge?
This isn't new of course. Little has been made of the President's repeated failure to read or attend intelligence briefs. Most Americans don't know/care and the media sure isn't going to bring this to the forefront of the nation's consciousness.
This will end very badly for the US.
1 week, 1 day ago on What isn’t being asked about the failed Foley rescue?
These are some very interesting finds that need to get more publicity but they likely won't. Thanks for adding them.
I'm skeptical that the Islamists were tipped off about a potential "raid". Maybe they became aware of US interest and decided to move the hostages but if they knew a raid was coming it would have been an outstanding opportunity to conduct an ambush and embarrass the US. I just can't see ISIS passing on such a juicy target.
The administration dragging its feet when comes to military options is a cliche at this point.
Thanks for sharing that message from our enemies. Too many are afraid to hear it just like some in the administration didn't watch the video of Foley's execution.
1 week, 2 days ago on A Veteran’s Message to ISIS…
I'm sure the governor will put in front of his focus group for polling ASAP.
1 week, 5 days ago on Counter-Insurgency in Ferguson
True. My point is you can't blame outsiders, claim innocence and play the victim while not reporting lawlessness.
It's like someone using my car to rob a bank and expecting the cops to get me my car back but I won't describe the car thief I saw steal my car.
@Jaycel Adkins @majrod
The extra money stems from counter terrorism efforts. Cameras don't stop terrorists. They in fact embolden them...
I think letting only journalists leave is an excellent idea if one wants to make it hard on the commuting looters.
Considering the press' disposition to release the police address or put it on TV one can very much understand why cops want a degree of anonymity. Telling you don't notice or comment on the "protestors" wearing masks and hoods.
Yep, the cops are the ones we "need to watch".
BTW, bright media lights can either blind you to an incoming brick or highlight you to a shooter.
@Txazz @Jetpilotdave oh yeah! Lawsuit gold mine there for lawyers. Better than a billboard near a dangerous intersection.
I'm skeptical about they "aren't from the neighborhood" excuse. What are these outsiders doing. commuting? They have to park their cars somewhere which is a bit inconvenient when you have to haul your loot from looting to the car. Where you carrying the molotov cocktails? Do they make a tactical carrier for those? Where and with who are the hooligans hanging out with waiting for the riot to start?
Most importantly, growing up in a ghetto we knew who wasn't from the neighborhood and who wasn't. Residents know who the outsiders are and they can read a license plate.
I don't doubt there are outsiders coming into the area but it's not a blanket excuse for the lawlessness. I applaud the locals who have been reported going out in the mornings and cleaning up. Even more laudatory are those confronting the hooligans but these individuals are few and far between.
On the cops side, why aren't at least trying to limit access to the area to residents? It's done after tornadoes and hurricanes. Well besides the knee jerk response of first amendment rights it may be portrayed as heavy handed or more "militarization". Damned if you do and damned if you don't.
@Txazz @majrod @portside
I don't think any individual person could have done better. I just contest that "he is making it work". I don't believe in acknowledging accomplishments that don't exist or forgetting that there's been looting every night is a positive.
Johnson is a great choice for the reasons I've stated before but the euphoria is about optics, not results.
@LawyerHandle The MPs have pretty close to the same law enforcement training of your average cop. They also have expertise in crowd control techniques and handling POW's. In a pinch they can fill in for some basic infantry type missions. They are typically more heavily armed and mobile than your basic light infantryman.
Cheaper than more police overtime.
Primarily they will give the politicians a talking point that they are bringing more "law enforcement" resources to bear and the "optics" that they are doing something.
1 week, 6 days ago on Counter-Insurgency in Ferguson
@LawyerHandle Shoot. I didn't hear what specific units were called up but MPs would be the best for the mission.
I'm in chat also.
When your opponent is 6'4" and around 300lbs it takes a tremendous amount of training to counter that and in some, you can never train enough to be effective against that size of opponent.
@Txazz @portside There was looting the night Johnson took over. It just wasn't well reported.
Great timely article Jack. It will serve as a spark to get the convo going.
Some later breaking news and different interpretation. The simultaneous release of the officer's name and the video wasn't a mistake as was the officials inability to counter the initial narrative. True the officer didn't know at the time that Brown was a suspect, Brown didn't know that and it may have driven his behavior towards the cop. Today it's been reported but unconfirmed (and as Lawyerhandle mentioned below/earlier) that a robbery report came over the radio and the officer made a mental connection.
Next, while I agree putting the State Patrol and a local African American officer in charge has presented much better national imaging it hasn't made a difference in the lawlessness and in fact the stand down tone resulted in several businesses being looted and private business owners taking up arms and guarding their businesses. This seems more a political ploy to create more positive "optics" than deal with the situation at hand.
The same can be said for the curfew that has been simultaneously lifted while the Guard is being brought in. Those actions contradict each other.
I hope someone further weighs in on the militarization of police. While I don't mind Police getting military vehicles they can use in unique circumstances they can't be brought to bear without significant thought. FWIW and contrary to the MSMs reporting no tanks or former military vehicles have been deployed in Ferguson. The police armored cars in use are Lenco Bearcats. This is not an MRAP and it's very limited US military use is in base security or nuclear convoy escort duties.
That said, the use of military camo patterns, snipers in plain sight on top of vehicles and some military approaches adopted by some police (e.g. suppressive fire) are illustrative of an over militarization of law enforcement or misapplication of military approaches.
I do not begrudge police wearing body armor, bulletproof visors, kneepads, kevlar gloves or gas masks. Flying bricks hurt and tear gas is a valid and effective crowd control measure.
Just to lighten the mood, did anyone see the Huffington Post reporter try to foam ear plugs were rubber bullets? The story is hilarious as well as the tweeted replies.http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/huffpo-reporter-mistakes-earplugs-rubber-bullets
A good reason to come to SOFREP for analysis.
@Michael_mike @majrod @LawyerHandle
I don't doubt he Ukrainians could find out (they have our intel capabilities to help). I doubt the Ukranians ability to interdict Russian armor well behind rebel lines. They keep having aircraft shot out of the sky.
2 weeks ago on Numerous coincidences presage latest Russian buildup on Ukraine border
@LawyerHandle That report has me scratching my head. What capabilities do the Ukrainians have to interdict a convoy crossing from Russia into rebel controlled territory? Granted. I'm assuming the Russians crossed where they "owned" both sides of the border if for no other reason to avoid pictures on twitter.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Numerous coincidences presage latest Russian buildup on Ukraine border
Scary Jack. Glad you avoided the trap
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Maricopa County Sheriff Leaks Private Conversation Related to Investigation About Leaks
@Fred82 @majrod @Waterborne
"I've already made it pretty clear that most of the violence in Iraq took place in predominately Sunni areas," I never disagreed with that and it's not the point.
The whole point of the Sunni triangle discussion was its relation to the size of a residual force. Did you forget, arguing just to argue or just playing stupid?
Are you really so myopic or just being purposely obtuse? You are are wasting my time.
I said the majority of Iraq required our presence and NO the rest of Iraq wasn't as unstable as the rest of Afghanistan. LOOK AT THE BODY BAGS!!!
The Shia militia alone in the south was a significant fight. You make it sound like Muqtada al_Sadr's iranian trained/supplied/directed militia was a pinprick in the south. You also fail to recognize Mookie (and the Iranians) largely stood down because of our presence down south. This what "presence" can do. The absence of violence doesn't mean we don't need troops. Sometimes the absence of violence is a measure of the troops' effectiveness. There in is the lesson.
"Problem was Iran's opposition to a sufficient force and its influence regarding the Iraqi government."
Again NO. I'll post the numerous and voluminous references I did above that you failed to read.
There were numerous ways to circumvent Iranian influence the first removing the self inflicted wound the administration created by requiring the SOFA go through the Iraqi parliament. Not to say the Iran factor was unimportant but stating it was the key factor is like driving down a dead end street and then calling home saying you can't get there because of the dead end in front of you.
Don't appreciate you not reading the references. I don't post them for my health. For sure repeating one's personal uninformed opinion doesn't make it more true. Again, I'm repeating myself and wasting my time.
Who was saying Democracy was going to sprout up overnight in Iraq? It took decades for it to take hold in Europe and Japan with a substantial US presence. Who was pushing for our early withdrawl? It defies logic to blame the ill defined "intereventionists" when it's the isolationists and the left that forced our premature withdrawl.
Totally don't understand the Suadi role in Shia democracy. The Saudi's are Sunni. The Iranians are Shia. Throwing more mud at the wall hoping something will stick? Stick with redefining the Sunni triangle to distract from the issues.
Reference polls... The American people don't "want" ground troops anywhere. Neither do I. Reality requires otherwise. Check out the polls on how Americans are rejecting the President's foreign policy.
I'm done here. I'm tired of repeating myself and correcting illogic.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on RUMINT: Kurds Seeking To Establish Their Own State
"it is the interventionists whom create greater problems for the US to
respond to and limit the US's ability to respond to essential threats."
It happens on occasion but the "isolationists/blame America first crowd" believe we are the cause of the world's ills.
Over the last century or so US intervention has confronted world threats and kept the greater peace.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on RUMINT: Kurds Seeking To Establish Their Own State
"The Iranians have proven themselves more pragmatic than to oppose US presences on principle." Yeah, tell that to the next of the kin of the 200+ dead marines in Lebanon or the next of kin of the murdered Americans of the Karbala raid.
The Sunni traingle was your effort to characterize the conflict in Iraq as localized in regards to a residual force. Now you're expanding the area to include all of Anbar province. You can't have it both ways. It's either small and you don't need so many troops or its a whole freaking province and then some (you are conveniently forgetting the rest of the country). Another example of twisted logic...
ISIS didn't happen overnight. A residual force would have bolstered Iraqi efforts to keep ISIS from forming let alone use Iraq as a sanctuary as they wage war in Syria (not to mention keep the secular Syrian revolution from being hijacked).
Leave a cartel alone in the US for two years and watch the local police (who have been stripped of any opposing party members) deal with them.
I don't know about interventionsists = half stepping. They weren't the ones who failed to leave a residual force and were considering doing the same in Afghanistan until the latest predicted trouble raised its head. BTW, guess who's supporting the pullback? The modern day isolationists, the left and this administration...
Again, it's faulty logic to blame "interventionists" (who are as varied as the flavors of ice cream) for half stepping when it's the isolationists and the left in charge who are not finishing the job...
No, I am not saying those two SF Brigades would be enough to deal with ISIS.
We started doing Iraq half assed when we didn't send the 400k Shinseki said we needed to. We finished half assed by leaving no residual force to facilitate Iraq's fledgling democracy.
What would be the costs of Iran resisting a 1000 man deployment? How would they do that? In any case it's irrelevant. Opposing an action doesn't necessarily mean one wants the opposite to happen as you have proposed. That's just ridiculously silly logic. It's like saying because we didn't intervene in Syria we wanted ISIS to grow and be successful..
" If nearly a decade of a lot more money and effort on the US's part
didn't make the Iraqi Army a force capable of resisting ISIS or a
bastion against Iranian influence,"
We accomplished that mission. It took us saying "mission accomplished", leaving and two years for it to be reversed. Imagine how Europe would have looked if Truman pulled us out in '47. It's not that hard to understand unless you are really trying not to.
"The Iranians can simply have their satraps relieve officers who don't toe the line"
Potentially true, except you ignore the Kurdish Peshmerga and the potential that replacing Maliki and developing fairer governance in Iraq means Iran has to start all over again. It just doesn't pass the commoin sense test to invite an enemy into a nation you are trying to undermine.
"I consider Anbar Province and Mosul to be extensions of the Sunni Triangle." LOL, there are some Mexicans that consider California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico as part of Mexico. Great example of the twisted logic you have to use to support your case.
"I'll agree that the current administration has done a poor job in Iraq.
That said, I think the US overestimates its current ability to influence
events in the Middle East, particularly when it comes to diplomacy."
I wholeheartedly agree and add, our current inability to apply appropriate American power as well as an inability to stay the course against Radical Islam just guarantees a much larger conflict down the road. The 4500 dead we lost in Iraq is going to be chickenfeed and all those promoting sitting on our hands now are going to be extremely hard to find later just like the isolationists were when we liberated concentration camps in Europe.
There are certain elements of the Iraqi Army that are infiltrated by Iranians/Shia militia & broken beyond repair (as well as the dozen plus battalions (an Iraqi division) that in effect disappeared when Mosul fell).
That said the unclassified portions of the report that have been released identify several units that can be helped as well as two of the three special ops brigades.
The downside is that is going to require troops on the ground in a serious "advisor" role and I don't think the administration or America has the stomach to do hard things that may be the right thing to do.
Everyone seems focused on how unpopular and difficult the situation is rather than the costs of not acting. This is exactly what the administration wants. A new President will not be afforded such deference as to how things got so bad and the costs of inaction.
Do you really think the Iranians need/want US small arms? Google Iranian arms industry.
Less than half the US troops are working with the Kurds. There are numerous special forces teams working in Iraqi Army units. The Iranians if they could, would not want US special forces anywhere near the Iraqi Army that it hasn't subverted yet. It has the potential of becoming a force resisting Iranian influence over Iraq.
Some may think the Iranians would risk all they've worked for some some US small arms but it doesn't pass the common sense test.
A lot of stuff happened in the Sunni triangle but you're misinformed if you think that was the majority. Quite a bit happened outside of it. Tal Afar, Mosul, al Qaim, Haditha are all outside the Sunni triangle as well as the overwhelming majority of Anbar ptovince.
Besides Iran and Syrian borders requiring a US presence interdicting the flow of fighters, weapons, EFPs etc. Then there was AQ trying real hard to inflict casualties in Shia areas south of the Sunni triangle to feed sectarian strife and let's not forget the Shia militia that caused quite a kerfluffle at different points. Karbala, Al Najaf, Dwaniyah were all outside the Sunni triangle and not vacation spots. You are misremembering or just unaware of all the other "heat" in Iraq.
As for Afghanistan you are making my point. If the Afghans aren't up to the task leaving is the last thing unless one wants to repeat Iraq in Afghanistan. The simple fact you can't obfuscate is the military wanted 20-30K for Iraq. The administration and the administration alone cut that to 3-5k.
Like I said, you are having to work real hard to justify poor decision making. It's much easier to hold the appropriate people responsible.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on RUMINT: Kurds Seeking To Establish Their Own State
I've mentioned below that one of the unstated prices we pay for assisting the Kurds is an expectation on their part that we will stand by their side for the foreseeable future.
Granted it's only one Peshmerga's opinion but...
“We know the U.S. are strong and that they have to win here,” one
Peshmerga soldier said. “They would not start this if they do not plan
to finish.” http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/08/12/kurdish-fighters-hold-islamic-state-await-more-help-from-us-baghdad/
Food for thought as we redeploy to Iraq...
FWIW, some historical perspective on humanitarian interventions that "blossomed". http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/08/11/the_slippery_slope_of_us_intervention_iraq_islamic_state_humanitarian_intervention
FTR, I'm not against going. I'm against not telling people what the ultimate costs are and even more so what's the goal. Airstrikes are a tactic not an objective. E.G. Destroying ISIS in Iraq is an objective.
"Ukraine says may block Russian aid convoy"
GOOD IDEA! The Russians are sending over 200 large trucks with "humanitarian" aid. Considering how they invaded Crimea and their propensity for subterfuge when invading countries (they used civilian aircraft to land the first waves in Afghanistan), the Ukrainians are wise to require the loads to be loaded onto Ukrainian trucks.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Numerous coincidences presage latest Russian buildup on Ukraine border
@Waterborne Yes and no one is talking about the almost 300 we had in Iraq before this all started. Iraq even after our 2011 pullout had more troops in the embassy than any other place in the world except for Afghanistan.
"Standing up" an Army is a bit of a misnomer. It has been increasingly recognized since Falujah that the Iraqi Army has lost a lot of its skill in coordinating large unit operations. Everything from synchronizing events, movement, indirect fires logistics, to coordinating between units etc.
No, about 250 Marines were sent for security. The rest were Special Forces to "evaluate" the Iraqi Army and "planners" to help Iraqi major units get their stuff together.
The evaluation mission ended a month ago and the report is sitting in DC. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/07/14/military-assessment-says-iraqi-military-units-infiltrated-by-isis-iran-backed/
What is that SF doing now? Well those airstrikes often rely on eyes on the ground...
There's PLENTY of stuff happening with those "evaluators" and "planners" while the administration says we don't have troops on the ground.
Ah. that is better explained. So you are saying the Iranians don't mind 1000 troops. Doubtful. Any US presence undermines Iranian influence.
Iran would much rather the Kurds look to them for support (or ISIS degrade their ability to resist the central gov't) than the US. Then there's the message of hope it sends Sunnis who want to resist ISIS and Shia oppression as well as Shia who are more nationalist Iraqis than Iranian henchmen. Further there's no limit to the number of troops that could be sent to Iraq. Only today, the administration shared it's looking at sending more "planners".
But we digress. You stated Iran was the primary reason we didn't pull off the residual force (totally ignoring the administrations well documented role). It's simply not true and no one has put forward the Iranian angle as the primary cause except you (and with no evidence). Forgive my skepticism.
Almost all incidents of instability in Afghanistan are happening in Pastun areas that border Pakistan unlike Iraq where the only quiet sector was the Kurdish area.
One would think if the ANA wasn't as ready to take the reigns we shouldn't be leaving Afghanistan. Maybe that's Iranians influence also ;)
You work really hard finding excuses for poor decision making.
I'm not saying Iran wasn't a factor. I'm documenting it wasn't the major one as you propose.
Re-read what I said. I wasn't saying the 1000 troops in Iraq today have a mission focus of Iran. I was spotlighting the different standards the administration had for putting/keeping troops in Iraq. Hard to understand how you didn't get that.
Thanks for the pop/area comparison corrections. I always want to be accurate and not ignore obvious facts. In any case, Afghanistan has a comparatively localized area of instability.
Regardless, the three fold difference in troop numbers is startling. Again, hard to understand how you missed that. Are you doing it on purpose?
New details on Aug 5. insider attack that killed Maj. Gen. Harold Greene
2 weeks, 5 days ago on US General killed in Afghanistan
You are misunderstanding me if you think I'm calling for restraint.
I'm calling for having a plan besides kill the bad guy. I'm calling for explaining why we have a dog in the fight, developing a vision for what we want to achieve in the region, create a path to get there and use all forms of American power to achieve it. To defeat Communism we described what it was, why it wasn't compatible with our way of life, who were its proponents. We created several treaty organizations, strategies and approaches to defeat ONE proponent. We identified fundamental national interests, we cultivated or created allies and committed to the long fight. Now I won't go through all that here but all this takes insight and analysis.
Back to Kurdistan, I briefly explained that helping a nation establishes a relationship, even a contract of some sort as to outcomes. To put it in layman's terms, if you help a woman fight off a rapist in a bad neighborhood do you just walk away and leave her there?
I'm not against helping the Kurds. Far from it. I'm organizing my thoughts like I did with my Syria essays previously on SOFREP. What I'm saying is you better know what one is getting into and how far one is willing to back someone before joining the fight.
There isn't a lot of analysis going on in DC right now besides sticking a wet finger in the air.
Check out my other posts in this thread and you might start to get a feel for how I'm approaching the issue and what I'll recommend. It's not sitting on our hands but it isn't just throwing weapons, money and air power willy nilly to save Iraq for the Iranians. You do realize Iran has over 2000 troops on the ground http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/14/iran-iraq-isis-fight-militants-nouri-maliki and has sent almost a dozen SU25s (Russian version of the A10) to Iraq? Who do you think is flying their airstrikes?
2 weeks, 6 days ago on RUMINT: Kurds Seeking To Establish Their Own State
Ref Ukraine: http://gruntsandco.com/numerous-coincidences-presage-latest-russian-buildup-ukraine-border/
Just about any moment...
@YankeePapa @majrod @LawyerHandle
The Sunni - Shia split is no small issue but the driving mechanism is radical Islamism on both sides.
If it was all about the Sunni-Shia friction it wouldn't happen to coincide with radical elements on both sides trying to fill power vacuums. Sunni and Shia would have been killing each other in droves a lot more often and in more parts of the world if that was the crux of the matter.
I don't talk much about the Sunni-Shia divide not because it doesn't exist but because there are those that use it as the canard to not discuss the "T" word or Radical Islamists. (Between us, that's "Terrorism", shhhhhh and the "JV" crowd :)
For insight into the failure to negotiate a residual force I direct you to Gen Keane who was deputy Army chairman at the time and privy to the negotiations and both sides.
Otherwise you can look here:
The Iraqis wanted a residual force. The military said it needed 20k to train the Iraqis, respond to AQ and assist Iraqi democracy flourish (e.g. limit Iranian influenmce).
The Administration whittled this down to 5000 troops and required the SOFA be approved by the Iraqi parlaiment that was heavily influenced by the Shia militia. (Note: we are looking at leaving 10k troops in Afghanistan, a much smaller country by size and population)
It also became apparent to the Iraqis that 5k troops wasn't enough to do the job but enough to piss off the Iranians. Instead of a robust US military to help Iraq chart a course we were going to provide a force that would just incite Iranian adventurism. Iraqi leadership came to the realization that such a small force was of no benefit to the nation.
Further, the administration continued to make a parlaimentary vote a requirement eventhough there were other ways to close on a SOFA agreement.
The administration simply didn't want one so it could spike the ball in the war ended mission accomplished field. The media didn't ask questions and the left sure wasn't. The right voiced concerns securing the advances dearly paid for, giving Iraq time to develop democratic traditions, maintaining a firm grip on AQ. They were drowned out and all those predictions came true.
No doubt the Iraqis had a role in the failed negotiations but the role of the administration cannot be ignored. Even today we have widespread revisionist history being written to cover up the massive failure not putting s residual force in Iraq was. Some even want to discuss Desert Storm instead of recent history..
Note, we don't have a SOFA agreement now but we have about a 1000 troops on the ground and that happened in less than a week, Funny, we needed parlaimentary support then, couldn't do it with years of negotiation but with a simple handshake and a signature we put troops in Iraq now in less than a week after Mosul fell.
@Minou_Demimonde @majrod @LawyerHandle
I know of several candidates that I know that could do better but that's irrelevant. They aren't president and debating them would be appropriate for a political forum which this is not.
Well brute force is putting it mildly, but yes.
Here's an article about the hundreds of thousands he murdered http://civilliberty.about.com/od/internationalhumanrights/p/saddam_hussein.htm
Then there's the various secret police organizations, Republican Guard, mandatory party membership to advance in public service, bribes, climate of suspicion/paranoia, cult following, widespread legal kidnapping, torture & rape. I'm sure I'm missing something.
I'm not seeing/understanding pushing the Sunnis/ISIS. The Iraqi Kurds have shown no aspirations to expand beyond their immediate area and are very distrustful of the Shia who will eventually turn on them.
Further, general "pushing" can be taken as (or become) ethnic cleansing. Not all Sunnis support ISIS but those doing so in Iraq are doing so because of valid grievances against the treatment of Sunnis by Maliki/Shia & Iran.
On top of that most of the Muslims in the region are Sunni. They are not going to sit on their hands.
I was a child during Nam. I'm just pretty good with history. Yes, I was making the comparison.
If you're OK with arming the Kurds now and sending US troops or abandoning the Kurds later OK. It's just important to know what you are saying yes to.
Interesting counterfactual. Why go back over 20 years when we could have avoided much of the present catastrophe by only going back three and looking at the failure for emplacing a residual force?
I remember sitting in the Iraqi desert vic Um Qasr on '91 hearing/seeing the artillery pounding Basra and the area north of me as Saddam put down the rebellion. It created thousands of refugees and quite a few horror stories I remember. The two border crossings my company was responsible for probably passed 10k refugees Maybe you are right, but then it would have been the Bush the elder castigated for invading Iraq instead of his son.
Or did you really mean to say the Kurds and not the Shia...
Where has the President ever learned from a mistake?
Not trying to beat up on Obama. It's not going to change anything but hoping he's going to change is futile. Better to analyze courses of actions where he cannot avoid to act (Bin Laden raid is a classic example where the American people learning he failed to act would have been untenable).
What he's doing (and the best we can hope for) is to hold on until a new president is in power who the present administration can blame for their failures. In any case, it's going to get worse. (Now there's some "interesting speculation")