The U.S. needs sane actors in the Middle East

Tue Aug 19, 2014 15:51:44PM | Categories:
“Thus far, Mr. Obama’s military strategy in Iraq has greatly favored the Kurds over the Iraqi government, with all the airstrikes taking place in northern Iraq in general and in the Kurdish areas of Mount Sinjar, Erbil and Mosul in particular. One reason, defense officials said, is that military assessment teams sent to Iraq to gauge whether the Iraqi security forces are capable of countering ISIS sent back reports specifying which units could make the most of American help — in the form of airstrikes — and which units were lost causes.
The American assessment teams quickly identified Kurdish pesh merga fighters as capable of pushing back the Sunni militants if given help, defense officials said. In addition, certain Iraq commando units — including those that worked with the Kurdish fighters to take back the Mosul Dam — also received good reports from the assessment teams.”

The Kurdish are a sane actor in the Middle East. Keep that in mind the next time a military blowhard like John McCain or even Hillary Clinton talks about having missed out in Syria. Aid to any element in Syria would have leaked out to the wrong players just like our our armoured personnel carriers left to the Iraqi army were abandoned by terrified troops to be picked up by ISIS and used against them. Without a well developed and cohesive political structure such as within Iraq’s Kurdistan region there is nothing for us to work with.

The Kurds have aspirations for a nation state of their own. There is no possibility of using their resources to unify Iraq in the same manner as this past weekend’s routing of ISIS at the Mosul Dam. It’s doubtful that they would be interested in expanding their territory very much into Arab, whether Shia or Sunni, sections of Iraq for them to police and protect.
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