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

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.