The One And Only American Solution In Iraq

LFU_PantsonFire_AshPile_vFYesterday, on his way to Martha’s Vineyard for another family vacation, the President took time to lecture us on the current situation in Iraq. If I had fingers, I’d run out of them trying to count the number of times he repeated two statements. The first one laid the blame for the ISIL invasion entirely on the current Iraqi government. The second statement was an unqualified refusal to put U.S. boots on Iraqi ground ever again.


With his fingers crossed behind his back, the President cast the crisis in the Iraq-solving-Iraq-problems mold. If solutions are to be found, they will be found by an inclusive Iraqi government “getting formed and finalized.” Only then can Iraq address the ISIL threat and the U.S. and its allies can offer economic and other non-military support.


While that may be a solution for Iraq itself, it is not a solution for America. Our interests lay not in the creation of a particular type of Iraqi government. Our interests center on safeguarding our homeland. So, the concern is not what the Iraqi government becomes. It is what the Iraqi government may not be allowed to become. That difference defines our role in Iraq or any other country.


Whether the Iraqis ever unite under an inclusive government is not an American worry. Truth be told, it would be better for us if the intra-country squabbles kept Iraqi factions focused on internal issues in perpetuity. Trouble for the U.S. arises when militantly anti-American forces take advantage of those squabbles to gain a foothold, and then control, of Iraq.


When that happens, as in the case with ISIL, our response should be to use our military might to neutralize the threat. Then we’re gone. We don’t hang around to help sort out the aftermath. No occupying force role for us. Good luck to them in building a government that does not pose a danger to us. If they can’t pull it off, we, like the Terminator, will be back.


In casting the solution as an acceptable Iraqi government, Obama is focusing us in the wrong direction. He is also imposing a condition that Iraqis have not met in centuries. He is using it as an excuse to do nothing while Iraq is taken over by those who, in American interests, should not govern.


What should we do? Arm the Kurds who are already a unified fighting force. Step up the airstrikes and allow the military to manage that process with the goal of eradicating ISIL. Right now, the strikes are hamstrung by the political dictates of single targets that pose a ‘humanitarian’ threat. And yes, put our military boots on the ground. Go in, crush the threat and get out.


As Obama stated yesterday, the American military is very effective. It can “keep a lid on problems wherever we are, if we put enough personnel and resources into it.” Right, and the American military can also neutralize a threat given the personnel and resources.


Let’s get that job done now because the cost is rising on a daily basis.