The United States must re-commit combat troops to Iraq if it wishes to stem the onslaught by militant Islamists who wish to turn the region into an Islamic state. That’s not just my opinion. That’s the carefully crafted opinion of Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, although you have to look hard in the media to know it.
On Sunday, Gen. Martin said that so far he’s seen no reason to commit troops on the ground yet, but when asked if troops will be needed in the future Dempsey said “Yeah, there will be circumstances when the answer to that question will likely be yes,” careful not to be at odds with his commander-in-chief, who has said no such troops will ever be needed.
But even Obama allies are starting to see the light.
“This is a very, very serious threat,” said James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq under Obama who is now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Time isn’t on our side. We’re going to start losing coalition members.”
Jeffrey said the administration’s steadfast opposition to U.S. ground combat troops is making it harder to reassure allies of an American commitment to the battle.
“Constantly whining about how we’re never going to put ground troops in there is simply not going over well,” he said.
Despite liberal portrayals of an American military presence as obnoxious to Iraqis, leaders in Iraq’s Anbar Province are threatening to quit fighting ISIS if American military help on the ground is not forthcoming.
“Iraqi army forces and Anbar tribesmen fighting alongside them have threatened to abandon their weapons if the U.S. military does not intervene to help them,” said Anbar’s provincial council's deputy head, Falleh al-Issaw, according to CNN.
And that’s really been the point all along.
The United States is the only country that can effectively fight ISIS from a logistical standpoint. We have the capabilities to deal with an insurgency on the ground and all over the world. We have shown we know how to dismantle terror networks, especially as they grow in operational size. We ran these operations before both in Iraq and Afghanistan with very good success.
By making a permanent commitment to the stability of Iraq, the United States could start to rebuild the trust that we lost in the region by our precipitate departure from the country after we secured stability there. No action taken by the U.S. could so alter the strategic balance worldwide, than a re-commitment of combat troops to Iraq.
Unlike before however, we have allies in Iraq and all over the world that will willingly concede the point that U.S. intervention is not only smart, but also greatly desired by all.
Previously, the world wanted us to do the heavy lifting, while they sat by and criticized.
It is not too late to redeem what we—and the world-- lost in Iraq. In doing so, we could make sure that the great mass of Islamic people see that there is an alternative to secular or religious dictators that have been self-serving for too long in the region.
That mission would be a true Arab Spring, a spring of re-growth; not the false spring they have enjoyed thus far.