Important dimensions of the Iraq situation are being overlooked in media coverage and in the halls of power.
One of the unspoken objectives of the 2003 invasion was establishing a battle line far from the homeland to draw terrorists to the fight. In other words, the goal was getting the enemy assembled and concentrated, making it easier to defeat, while simultaneously protecting American civilians at home. Despite the naysayers, the strategy worked remarkably well, despite setbacks and mistakes. One of those mistakes, the creation of the Iraqi insurgency.
The insurgency was created when Iraqi regulars and police were disarmed and dispersed. Without an ability to find employment, and driven by deep resentments, these trained fighters soon joined Al Qaeda and others. Remnants of these forces have joined ISIS.
So when our military experts begged Obama to leave a residual force in 2011, they did so to seal the gains made in Iraq, knowing ISIS was looming on the horizon, realizing as well that Iran was poised to intervene. Obama refused the good advice of his military and intelligence advisers, preferring the promotion of his ideology instead of making prudent decisions in the interests of national security, like a patriotic president would have done.
Securing Iraq with a residual force was required to allow for the political reconciliation needed to move forward, so that a unity government including Kurds, Shi’ite and Sunni might function. Tragically, Obama squandered all the work providing for that possibility, allowing the chaos and terrible atrocities we see today.
Consequently, we have to fight the Iraq war all over again, thanks to the folly of the Obama administration.
However, the good news is there may be hope that others (Jordan increasingly, the Saudis, and fighters from Lebanon) will help us and the Kurds in the quest to destroy ISIS.
Still, the best military minds insist this fight will require American boots on the ground.
Ironically, and tragically, Obama’s terrible decision to leave Iraq completely set up the requirement he refuses to acknowledge: American boots on the ground.
He ignored ISIS for more than a year, allowing it to control huge areas in Iraq and Syria. As in Afghanistan, he dithered, delayed and declined to formulate a victory strategy. Thus, he gave this vicious enemy quarter, and as always, that only allows the enemy room and time to grow and aggress.
Instead of facing facts, deploying our troops in cooperation with others, and fighting like hell to solve this problem in a few months, Obama will string it out over the next couple of years, handing it off to someone else.
In the meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children, and our own military personnel, will die needlessly. Truly, Obama will have their blood on his hands.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.