News / USA

US Closely Monitors Iraq Violence but has Few Options

US Closely Monitors Iraq Violence but has Few Optionsi
X
January 08, 2014 5:19 AM
President Barack Obama and his advisers are keeping a close watch on Iraq, where government forces are confronting al-Qaida-linked militants. Analysts say the U.S. has few options. Senior White House correspondent Dan Robinson reports.
US Closely Monitors Iraq Violence but has Few Options
President Barack Obama and his advisers are keeping a close watch on Iraq, where government forces are confronting al-Qaida-linked militants. Washington is sending surveillance drones and missiles and is urging Iraq's Shiite-dominated government and Sunni tribal leaders to unite against the militants. However, analysts think the U.S. has few options.
 
In Ramadi and Fallujah, in western Anbar province, Iraqi government troops face off against Islamist militants linked to al-Qaida. In the most serious threat to central authority since U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011, the Sunni militants have taken over parts of both cities.
 
The current insurgency appears similar to what U.S. troops faced after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has urged tribal leaders in Anbar to expel the al-Qaida elements.
 
However, observers such as Brookings Institution national security analyst, Michael O'Hanlon warn that the violence could spiral out of control.
 
"If you go in brutally and you suppress one group in one neighborhood at one time, you may be simply stoking the resentments and angers of other groups of the same sectarian background. And so you generate new enemies even as you have neutralized or killed others," said O’Hanlon.
 
President Obama considers the withdrawal from Iraq among his major accomplishments, although the two countries failed to agree on keeping a residual U.S. military presence.
 
Obama has ruled out sending combat forces back to the country, but is sending air-to-ground missiles and surveillance drones. 
 
Responding to renewed criticism on Iraq from Republican lawmakers, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that there's no reason to think that U.S. troops could have prevented sectarian conflict.
 
"There was sectarian conflict -- violent sectarian conflict -- in Iraq when there were 150,000 U.S. troops on the ground there.  So the idea that this would not be happening if there were 10,000 troops in Iraq, I think, bears scrutiny," said Carney.
 
Military analyst Anthony Cordesman said that the violence in Anbar province is part of a wider struggle between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the region.
 
Cordesman believes the U.S. needs to find the least bad option.
 
"A lot of what we can do is simply to, very quietly, try to bring the factions together, to push the Maliki government to take a more balanced view, to treat the Sunnis, give them more respect, to stop this kind of series of political purges," said Cordesman.
 
Nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq between 2003 and 2011. 
 
Polls show the conflict was among the most divisive for Americans, with many still questioning what was accomplished.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MikeBarnett from: USA
January 10, 2014 2:18 PM
Mr Carney understated the case that 10,000 troops might succeed when 150,000 troops failed "bears scrutiny." In addition, the 10,000 troops would have become combat soldiers whether they intended to be or not because the enemy always gets a vote in any war. The insurgents wanted to kill US "trainers" and "advisors," so we were wise to remove them before we suffered more casualties. This is Iraq's uncivil war; we can help them with arms and munitions; but they must fight their war for themselves.

by: Edward Marek from: Wausau, WI
January 08, 2014 1:36 PM
What is unclear here is who will fly the drones and launch the missiles? Americans?

by: phillipp from: Afrque du Suid
January 08, 2014 5:11 AM
I am now starting to realise why the US ddn't attack Syria for he knew the trouble was coming somewhere. He wasvjust trying to rectify the Iraq mistakes but at the cost of poor Syrians lives. Let Assad and Karzai go for peace sake.

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
January 08, 2014 4:44 AM
USA considers Sunnis in Iraq as terrorists while Shiites as good people. In Bahrain, minority Sunni rulers , Americans believe as friends while majority Shiite considers as semi-terrorists. In Lebanon, US thinks that Sunnis are civilized creatures while Shiites as if they are religious fanatics. In Syria, USA sees both the government and all rebel factions as the enemies of Western countries.
I'm little confused about USA's policy toward middle east.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs