Would you treat a wounded Hezbollah soldier in the sands of Iraq? If you were a fighter pilot, would you release 1,000-pound bombs in support of Iranian surrogates on the ground? My fear is that today, we’re asking our elite warriors to do both. It’s going to happen, it’s just not acknowledged. Our bureaucracy doesn’t condone bad news and a counter narrative. Instead, our bureaucratic institutions report back that everything is awesome. Our foreign policy doesn’t seem awesome.
I don’t know if there even is an Iraq today. Instead, we have the Iranian client state formerly known as Iraq. Iranian influence reigns supreme, so where do we fit? As someone who was on the ground, trying to help the Iraqi Security Forces, it was hard to find my place. I can’t imagine what it’s like today. Even though the Pentagon has a swanky new Inherent Resolve website, I can’t help but think the problem set is not a fixable one via Iraqi proxies. Briefing increasing numbers and tossing in “trainers” alone won’t work in the long run. It will, however, allow many to gain combat rotations and put others, often those in the special operations community, in unnecessarily dangerous positions without a clear understanding of their role as combatants. Our influence in Iraq is wavering and, unfortunately, the region has a short memory. Friends are easily converted to enemies.
Iran is a nation where people are regularly hung to death, and their goal is to export their Islamic revolution across the Middle East. Likewise, we seek to export our democratic revolution across the globe. Conflict is inevitable. How can we cooperate with one another when our raison d’etre is to liberate others based on our way of life?
Who do we want to shape the world? I vote for us, and no one else. I believe in the motto of the U.S. Army Special Forces: De Oppresso Liber, “To free the oppressed.” I’m not sure sharing Iraq with a sectarian entity is in line with what we believe. The Iranians seek to oppress the Sunnis of Iraq, non-sectarian or not.
We need a redrawing of how we solve problems in national security. As a citizen, you should be questioning your leadership when the DoD spends $500 million to fight ISIL and produces a culminated “four to five in the fight.” Four to five in a fight against an army? It would have been appropriate if Gen. Lloyd Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command, had giggled or winked when he said that. We’ve lost our way on this one. I’m not sure what the best way to move forward is, but I’m beginning to believe this is going to become more complicated as time progresses.
Featured image courtesy of jpost.com