Just before the terrorist attacks in Paris, President Obama said the Islamic State is not gaining strength in Iraq. The White House now says the massacre will not alter its strategy to counter the radical group.
They don't know that.
It may well alter the efforts.
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes is quoted stating at the G20 Summit today, "We don’t believe U.S. troops are the answer to the problem. The further introduction of U.S. troops to fully reengage in ground combat in the Middle East is not the way to deal with this challenge."
Well bombing's aren't the answer either.
Still DoD announced today:
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Kisik, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL mortar system, suppressed an ISIL light machine gun, and wounded an ISIL fighter.
-- Near Mosul, one strike suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun.
-- Near Qayyarah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL cache, two ISIL buildings, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb and an ISIL command and control node and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, destroyed three ISIL vehicles and an ISIL fighting position, and wounded an ISIL fighter.
That's all Barack's 'plan' has offered.
Now Ben Rhodes wants to insist that's not enough?
Well the ones supporting bombings -- in the US Congress -- generally feel that US boots on the ground are needed in combat. In large numbers.
Now I don't believe that.
I actually agree with Ben Rhodes.
But I also agreed with Barack on June 19, 2014 when he insisted a political solution was the only way to end the crises in Iraq.
Yet, in August 2014, when he implemented his 'plan,' Barack completely ignored the political solution.
I've insisted on it here repeatedly.
I'm like a broken record on the topic.
Others have given it a pass.
Look at where we've arrived.
The tragedy of Paris leaves people wanting to do something.
And to continue bombing will lead supporters asking for an expansion of the military approach.
Barack's had 15 months and counting to work on a political solution.
Not from hard work that didn't work out but from refusing to seek the needed political solution.
That's why Barack was insisting in June and July of 2014 that Iraq needed a national guard that represented all aspects of the society.
But he never made bombings conditional upon this being created.
And all this time later, bills for creating a national guard cannot pass the Iraqi Parliament.
The tragedy in Paris rightly horrifies the world.
But in terms of Iraq, the answer is not more military action on the part of the US.
The answer is the same as it was in June 2014: A political solution that creates an inclusive and representative government.
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name
The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4497 (plus 10 in Operation Inherent Resolve which includes at least 1 Iraq War fatality).
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