Sarwar A. Kashmeri, an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Norwich University, and a fellow at the Foreign Policy Association, offers a logical suggestion for dealing with the military crisis in Iraq, which has brought Bush Administration neo-conservatives out of the woodwork to defend the mess they made with the U.S. and British invasion of Iraq in 2003. Former U.S. Vice-President Richard Cheney and other war advocates, who appear to be re-writing the history of their unjust war in Iraq, blame U.S. President Barack Obama for the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They want him to send more than the 300 military advisors dispatched to Iraq to stiffen the spine of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s military. Numerous media reports say some of Iraq’s military units laid down their arms, doffed their uniforms and fled when confronted by ISIS forces.
Mr. Obama withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, and has vowed not to commit troops to the current sectarian conflict. Will he change his mind? It remains to be seen.
The latest New York Times/CBS News poll, “suggests that most Americans back some of Mr. Obama’s approaches to the crisis in Iraq, including majority support for the possibility of drone strikes,” The Times reported on June 23, 2014. “But,” The Times noted, “the poll documents an increasing lack of faith in the president and his leadership, and shows deep concern that further intervention by the United States in Iraq could lead to another long and costly involvement there.”
Carrie Dann, a national political writer for NBCNews.com, reported June 24, 2014, that:
A divided nation finally agrees on something overwhelmingly: the war in Iraq was simply not worth fighting.
Seventy-one percent of Americans now say that the war in Iraq “wasn’t worth it,” a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll shows, with skepticism about the lengthy war effort up substantially even in the last 18 months.
Just 22 percent now believe the 2003 war effort was worthwhile. See “Not Worth It: Huge Majority Regret Iraq War, Exclusive Poll Shows.”
So, how can Mr. Obama achieved his objectives, which is to halt ISIS’ impressive advances in Iraq, shore up the Iraqi government and keep the country from fragmenting along sectarian lines?
Mr. Kashmeri's suggestion in an article in the June 24, 2014, edition of The Huffington Post headlined “Time for America's Middle East Allies to Forge Their Own Destinies” deserves consideration. He notes:
Baghdad is 900 miles from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 500 miles from Amman, Jordan; 300 miles from Kuwait, and 1000 miles from Ankara, Turkey, countries that are allies of the United States, and armed to the teeth with American weapons. With over 700,000 soldiers, 6000 tanks, 2000 warplanes, and some 5000 conventional and rocket launched artillery pieces between them they vastly outnumber and outgun the forces of the so-called Independent State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that is determined to set up a medieval brutal Caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.
If these heavily armed American allies that are minutes away from the killing fields of Iraq choose not to step in and rectify the rapidly unfolding chaos in their midst, why should the United States, some 7000 miles from Iraq spill its blood and treasure in another futile quest to remake the Middle East for them? A futile quest that has over the last decade chewed up the minds and bodies of 56,000 brave American soldiers, including some 4,700 killed.
Mr. Kashmeri said, “Over a trillion dollars have been spent over the last 12 years in the disastrous 2003 American invasion of Iraq and its attempt to remake the Middle East. Estimates are that a similar amount will be required over the next two decades to care for the American soldiers who have thankfully survived the war in Iraq and returned to their anguished families.”