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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.