See what happens when you blunder into a war and then don’t fight to win?
After losing nearly 5,000 troops in Iraq we up and left Iraq, well after the government we helped install there virtually kicked us out. Some may have said that was the best decision, kind of like the doves or anti-war people said during our hopeless endeavor in Vietnam — just declare victory and go home. President Barack Obama did just that in Iraq, saying it was a war we never should have gotten into in the first place. Well he is probably right on that. But you know, since we went to all the effort, a few trillion dollars and lives (American sons, daughters, mothers, fathers) that can’t be counted in dollars, it seems like we should have gotten something. We did not even get a lock on its oil reserves, which was the overriding reason for going in there in the first place.
Now to add insult to injury, the Iraqi government wants us back — well initially they want weapons and other assistance to fight an ongoing insurgency, said to be as bad as the worst days of our involvement there. But they also mention that maybe some military advisors might be useful as well.
And as pressure Iraq is using the old developing-nation blackmail routine. If you (the U.S.) won’t help us, we’ll just have to go elsewhere, such as Russia or China. The Iraqi prime minister is meeting with President Obama Friday.
So, yes, going into Iraq in the first place was not a well thought out move. But we did, and in a big way. Just not big enough. We stopped way short of victory. And what would victory have looked like? I guess all-out control of the nation by the victor, for a time, and then maybe an exclusive agreement on oil in return for some return of sovereignty. Well, too late for that. But if we start pumping money into there again — not to mention lives — we better get something for it.
The problem with trying to help those who might be friendly and amenable to Western ways in these areas is that we always seem to end up decimating their infrastructure and killing off innocent people. We have a hard time making friends that way.
Whatever we do, we better think this one out.
It seems the blunder of Iraq is back to haunt us this Halloween.
The news story that inspired this post: http://www.armytimes.com/article/20131030/NEWS08/310300028/Iraq-seeking-new-aid-after-pushing-out-U-S-troops