Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So Getting Iraqi Troops to Fight is Unimportant?

While we worked on a big strike against jihadis in Syria, we stood by and didn't use our air power to help an Iraqi battalion fight off jihadi attacks. I guess we're fine with local ground forces thinking that our air power intervention will have no effect on their personal chances of surviving combat.

Good grief:

The [Iraqi] army base in Iraq’s western Anbar province had been under siege by Islamic State militants for a week, so when a convoy of armored Humvees rolled up at the gate, the Iraqi soldiers at Camp Saqlawiyah believed saviors had arrived.

But this was no rescue attempt. The vehicles were driven by militants on suicide missions, and within seconds on Sunday the base had become a bloody scene of multiple bombings.

On Monday, a day after the attack, five survivors — including three officers — said that between 300 and 500 soldiers were missing and believed to be dead, kidnapped or in hiding.

This is so frustrating. This is exactly why our air power is needed. Why didn't we use it to help that battalion hold their base? We didn't even drop supplies.

The Iraqis claim chlorine gas was used by the jihadis. There is no proof right now, but al Qaeda did use chlorine gas during the Iraq War, so it is plausible.

Is this how we expect to get Iraqis and other Arab states to fight for us so we don't have to commit ground combat units? Because if so, it isn't going to work.

UPDATE: We still have a chance to make a difference to Iraqi defenders:

Around 200 Iraqi soldiers were trapped in an army camp in western Iraq on Wednesday, besieged by Islamic State militants who routed hapless army forces in a raid on a base close to Baghdad at the weekend.

I mean, what the Hell are we doing in Iraq desperately seeking a ground force to support if we won't help ground forces already there?

What country will volunteer to head to the front to provide that ground force if we won't help those already there?

UPDATE: This story from the 25th is unclear about where the base is, so I don't know if it either of the bases noted above:

Militants from ISIS have overrun an Iraqi military base near Baghdad and executed 300 soldiers, according to a breaking news report from CNN.

I assume it doesn't mean the base in the original post since this is breaking news from the 25th.

How do we convince non-US forces to face the murderous fanatics of ISIL (ISIS) on the ground if we won't help them defeat or even survive the battles with the jihadis?

Are we really this blind?