What are your thoughts on the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq?
I think Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq was completely botched. He left behind a weak government and an Iraqi military that was unable to defend itself. Obama’s decision to pull U.S. forces out of Iraq almost instantaneously with no sort of residual force to help them defend their own nation has consequences. There are real-world consequences to messing up the withdrawal as we’re now seeing with the [terrorist group] Islamic State, with their ability to have such significant advances into Iraq.
What about the recent airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS)?
The airstrikes are necessary. They’re happening a little late. The delay allowed ISIS to gain strength and momentum in Iraq for months. I don’t think they’re going to necessarily make that much of a difference on the grand scale of things. These are basically just pinprick airstrikes.
Yes, they’re going to take out some equipment here and there, but they’re not going to change the Islamic State’s mission, goals, intentions, etc. It’s basically just momentarily disrupting their freedom to maneuver. It’s temporarily holding them back rather than destroying them. It is a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
Do you think at some point we’ll need boots on the ground in Iraq again?
Right now, with our current leadership, I don’t want to see conventional U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq. That being said, the mission may require that in the future. Right now I’d like to stick to supplying Iraqis with weapons, ammo, and intelligence and basically guiding the Iraqis to fight back.
What is America’s best strategy in Iraq for the near future?
I think they need a coherent, comprehensive air campaign in conjunction with supplying Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga with weapons, ammo, and intelligence to help them fight against the Islamic State and regain control.
As someone who has served, is what’s going on in Iraq disappointing? Are you surprised, saddened?
It is disappointing. Thousands of American soldiers who served in Iraq made life-altering sacrifices. Some came home with physical or invisible wounds that they still have to deal with. It’s disheartening, and now we’re having to deal with the consequences of an early, too soon, withdrawal. The withdrawal was not managed properly.
“Thousands of American soldiers who served in Iraq made life-altering sacrifices,” says @AmberBarno.
The president was more concerned with a rapid withdrawal than ensuring all we fought for in Iraq was preserved. To see that and almost a decade of work, lives, and sacrifices put into Iraq be swept away in a few months of ISIS coming in and grasping control, it is extremely frustrating to watch that.
Read the full article here: The Daily Signal