Thursday, June 25, 2015

Where's that political solution?

AP reports a Baghdad bombing has left at least 6 people dead with sixteen more injured while a Mahmudiyah bombing left at least 2 people dead with six more injured.

As the violence continues, with even the Yazidis participating in the cycle of vengeance, there seems no end in sight.

And Barack Obama certainly has no plan.  Over a year ago, he insisted publicly that the US would have a limited role militarily and that the only answer for Iraq was a political solution.

But for over a year the focus has been on the military.

And that's not been well received in Iraq.

You've had various military members in the last few weeks sounding off in the press with their complaints, insisting they don't have enough weapons or enough bombs being dropped.

(I criticize Barack freely and repeatedly.  But I don't agree with that criticism and, time permitting, we'll address it in the snapshot today.)

Dropping bombs from war planes doesn't stop the cycle of violence.  Nor has dropping bombs resulted in a reduction of violence.

For Wednesday, Margaret Griffis ( reported 109 violent deaths across Iraq today.

Those numbers aren't going down.

 Emma Sky is the author of The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq.  Today, she offers "Can Iraq Be Saved?" (The Daily Beast):

President Obama recently admitted that “We don’t have a complete strategy” for dealing with the Islamic State. It was an honest admission. And honesty has not been in abundance when it comes to Iraq policy. Politicians try to use the situation in Iraq for political advantage, without much consideration of Iraqis themselves. Democrats blame Republicans for invading Iraq in the first place and Republicans blame Democrats for not leaving troops there. The current extent of the debate in Washington appears limited to whether or not to send troops back to Iraq.
But numbers of boots on the ground is not a strategy. Strategy should be about how to achieve a political settlement. And increasing the commitment of U.S. military support to Iraq should only be as part of a strategy to achieving such an outcome—not as an ends in itself.

Are we seeing the White House grasp this?

Or act on it?

Not so far.

And as no real efforts take place, Yaroslav Trofimov (Wall St. Journal) reports on a growing belief among some Iraqis that the US government isn't really interested in defeating the Islamic State.

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