Monday, June 16, 2014

Okay, Let's Stop This Nonsense Right Now

Alright, this is the second time I've read this nonsense. Iraq does not have a million-man army.

Let's stop this before it is accepted wisdom:

Iraq now faces the prospect of similarly vicious warfare, but this time with no U.S. forces on the ground to intervene. Its million-strong army, trained and armed by Washington at a cost of around $25 billion, has been plagued by corruption, poor morale and a perception it pursues Shi'ite sectarian interests. [emphasis added]

Iraq does not have an army of one million troops.

Iraq has 280,00 in their military, including 11,000 non-army troops.

They also have 650,000 police and security guard forces.

And 4,000 counter-terrorism troops.

This is not the same as a million-man army.

If four divisions evaporated in the north, as I read somewhere, the army lost about 10% of its strength.

That hurts. But Iraq can survive this loss if they regain their composure. We can help that.

Let's avoid panicking and doing something stupid:

The United States is preparing to open a direct dialogue with longtime adversary Iran on security in Iraq and ways to push back Sunni militants who have taken over large areas of the country, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.Citing senior U.S. officials, the newspaper said the dialogue was expected to begin this week.

Do not let the wolf in amongst the sheep.

Let's not believe the Obama administration self-inflicted fantasy that Iran is a partner waiting to be created.

Iraq has the forces--if supported--to defeat this ISIL offensive. I fear that rather than help Iraq do the job, the administration will subordinate the Iraq issue to push for their fantasy grand bargain with Iran:

Back in January, Michael Doran and I had an op-ed in the New York Times arguing that the Obama administration was pursuing a grand realignment of Middle East politics which would turn Iran from an enemy into “a cooperative partner in regional security.” I am reminded of that argument when I now hear the State Department spokesman claim that the U.S. and Iran have a “shared interest” in pushing back against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and when I read Tom Friedman claim it’s actually in our interest to let Iran dominate substantial chunks of the region: “Iran wanted to be the regional hegemon. Well, Suleimani: ‘This Bud’s for you.’

Do read it all for the response to Friedman, who I refuse to discuss any more. Friedman is a repulsive idiot. The Karma Doctrine is no way to solve our problems.

But I digress.

The Obama administration should not make our Iraq problem worse by inviting Iran into Iraq just because they don't want to make the effort on our own. But the administration is fully capable of making any problem worse.