Sunday, January 29, 2017

No Effort Was Made to Secure a Victory

Lessons from the Iraq surge for President Trump.

Lesson 5 is "Securing the peace demands continued effort." That we are in Iraq War 2.0 since mid-2014 tells you that we didn't do that.

I know, President Obama's defenders say that the Iraqis wouldn't let America keep troops there and so are to blame for our absence.

I find that excuse nonsense given that we have troops there now and still don't have an agreement approved by their parliament on the legal status of our forces.

Face it, President Obama campaigned for president on the promise of getting out of Iraq and boasted about getting us out of Iraq in his reelection campaign. Are you really going to claim that in between he tried really, really hard to stay?

And even if there is an actual defense of the failure of the Obama administration to keep troops in Iraq after 2011 to secure the peace, why didn't the Obama administration carry out the State Department surge that was supposed to replace the military effort?

That was Plan B, I thought. But no, we just left.

I even gave the administration the benefit of the doubt on this issue as we headed out the door.

But we screwed it up.

And without our people working with the Iraqi army and government we did not know that the Iraqi military was in such bad condition from poor officers (due to corruption that led the Iraqi government to value loyalty over competence) that it collapsed across large swathes of Iraq when faced with an ISIL-supported and ISIL-led Sunni Arab uprising (with Saddam's old boys playing a role).

So Iraq War 2.0 rages. Perhaps we will secure the peace with continued efforts when this war is won.

That would be nice.

UPDATE: Eric at Learning Curve has a good post on exiting from Iraq in 2011.