Washington, DC – The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) demands that no troops be put on the ground in Iraq to combat its widening civil war. We are not Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s private army to be turned on and off when Iraqi troops desert the defense of their own nation.
Militant forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), an offshoot of al-Qaeda which has been exerting influence and have been victorious in the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, by driving Iraq into sectarian chaos and war based on religious differences. This week, they took over Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, with minimal opposition and have now set their sights on the capital of Baghdad.
JWV fully supports the Obama Administration’s decision to provide assistance to Iraq’s government as they work to stop the insurgency, but that support must not include sending our servicemembers back on the ground into Iraq. We must also evaluate and possibly enhance the Kurds or other possible potential allies in stabilizing the Middle East.
Of equal and sometimes even more prominent concern must be Pakistan with its nuclear capability. At this point, the entire Middle East is in a state of flux, not just Iraq, and our reaction must be reevaluated to encompass that concern.
When the U.S. left the region in 2011, it was clear that the Iraqis had no political interest in maintaining an American presence in the region. Now is definitely not the time to reenter the fray. If the Iraqi people won’t defend themselves, then we must consider the needs and the results of any intervention and the how and where of it. We must act with responsibility to America’s global security interests.
Further, given the problems currently facing the Department of Veterans Affairs it is clear that our government is and has not been prepared to properly aid the men and women who risk their lives in service to our nation, and instead lets them return to a nation which unintentionally or otherwise is unwilling to heal their wounds.
As Secretary of State John Kerry said back in January, “this is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis.” The United States should fully support any military aid that can help the Iraqis fight off ISIS, but ultimately and actually it is their fight to maintain control over their country.
About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is one of oldest active veterans’ organizations in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.
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