News / USA

US Readies Options for Iraq Conflict

US Readies Options for Iraq Conflicti
Michael Bowman
June 15, 2014 8:59 PM
The United States is repositioning military assets closer to Iraq, as Baghdad braces for a possible attack by Sunni militants that have seized large swaths of territory in the country. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where the risks and merits of some form of U.S. military intervention in Iraq is a topic of heated debate.
Michael Bowman
The United States is repositioning military assets closer to Iraq, as Baghdad braces for a possible attack by Sunni militants that have seized large swaths of territory in the country.  Meanwhile in Washington, the risks and merits of some form of U.S. military intervention in Iraq is a topic of heated debate.
Shi’ites in Baghdad are flocking to recruitment centers to defend their city - the latest sign of worsening sectarian conflict in war-ravaged Iraq.  To the north, militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continue a brutal and effective campaign, seizing municipalities and military equipment, and posting images of them purportedly executing all who stand in their way.
The United States ordered an aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf, which the Pentagon says provides "additional flexibility should military options be required.”
President Barack Obama said he understands what is at stake.
“Iraqi security forces have proven unable to defend a number of cities, which has allowed the terrorists to overrun a part of Iraq’s territory.  And this poses a danger to Iraq and its people.  And given the nature of these terrorists, it could pose a threat eventually to American interests, as well,” said Obama.

U.S. engagement in Iraq is urgently needed, according to Republican Congressman Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

“We need to stop this, the action needs to be now, not two weeks down the road,” said McCaul, speaking on ABC’s This Week program.
At the same time, he urged a diplomatic effort.
“We need to be very careful with any military strategy. Diplomatically, we need to bring the Sunni-Shia-Kurds together against the extremists,” said McCaul.
Another Republican, Senator Lindsey Graham, said the United States should engage in talks with Iraq's neighbor, Iran, on the crisis.
The White House said options are being prepared and reviewed.
“Any action we may take to provide assistance to Iraq, one security forces has to be joined by a serious and sincere effort by Iraq’s leaders to set aside sectarian differences.  We cannot do it for them.  And, in the absence of this type of political effort, short-term military action, including any assistance we might provide, will not succeed,” said Obama.
For now, Iraq’s exacerbated sectarian divides are producing more bloodshed and chaos by the day.

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Comment Sorting
by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
June 16, 2014 12:58 AM
The Maliki Administration should be blame for the violence in Iraq. If The Maliki administration were to sign the paper work that the U.S. wanted him to signed, there were never going to be this conflict that we are seeing now. Cuz as long the U.S presence in Iraq, Iran could have been saying all those trash they are saying now. Cuz the U.S was close to their door step. Secondly there were going to be no rebels as we are seeing now. Cuz the U.S presence makes a big difference.
Iran wants to be like the U.S so badly, I don't care much Russian 1960 weapons she has, she still cannot fight the U.S, The U.S is too superior for Iran, When the U.S draw the dooms day weapon out, Iran will turn into graveyard. Let Iran ask Japan, Iran is playing with fire,she better leave the U.S alone.
Long time ago I wrote on VOA, say removing our troops from Iraq is an error,Cuz the rebel will take over. At that time, there were any rebels. I am a military man, but you can read between the line. As long our presence was in Iraq, all this nonsense wasn't going to happened. The U.S still have more ground work to do in Iraq, They still need our help.

by: Not Again from: Canada
June 15, 2014 11:36 PM
Once again we hear the voices supporting military interventions in Iraq. At this point in time no US ally is in any direct danger.
After great loss of valiant US/Allied lives, and massive US resources, after well over 7 yrs of constructive involvement, Malaki booted out the US totally unceremoniously, by refusing to agree to the status of forces agreement; for almost 2 yrs, the Bush administration danced to Malaki's tune, begged it to allow US forces to stay as trainers, helpers, maintainers, advisers... to no avail. Malaki over those 2 yrs extracted tremendous concesions from the US, including continuing to demmand economic aid, at the height of the developing economic crisis in the US, while collecting billions from its oil exports, and refusing to cover its own war expenses.... that is no ally!
The reason Malaki did not sign the status of forces agreement, was because he had no intention to continuing developing a democratic state, and did not want the US looking over his shoulder. There is absolutely no gurantee, that US propping him up will make him change his dictatorial ways, once the crisis is over.
The fact that 13,000 terrorists can take on an Iraqi force of well over 870,000 is not reasonable; Malaki, wants the US to once again help him to impose his rule, which caused the catasthropic situation in Iraq in the first place.
At this point in time, involvement will just lead to the sliperry slope of re-engagement in a very unproductive situation. Iraq needs to stand up to the terrorists, and it needs to democratize. Malaki, so far, has not shown the leadership qialities and will to do either.
Unless an Iraqi national government of unity, including all ethnic groups, is formed and takes over Iraq the US and its allies will be badly misused by Malaki; he is an authocrat, at best, a dictator more likely; if the decision leans towards involvement, the US should consult with its long term Gulf States/ME allies, before making a final decision.
Under the current conditions, direct involvement will be of no benefit, and could in fact make the long term strategic situation much worse for US/Allied interests in the region.

by: meanbill from: USA
June 15, 2014 9:59 PM
MY OPINION? -- US President George W. Bush "quote" said it; "Iraqis will write their own history, and find their own way" -- The US did the same when they fought the "Lincoln War" (some call it the civil war), that caused the deaths of over 600,000 men, to finally unite the United States...

IF ONLY? -- if only the US, EU, and NATO countries didn't provide the weapons and supplies to the Sunni extremists/terrorists in Syria, including the (ISIL) -- (AND?) -- if the US hadn't trained and supplied the Sunni (US trained Security Forces in Iraq), that took off their uniforms and joined with the Sunni extremists/terrorists, including the (ISIL), to overthrow the Iraq government, none of this would be happening now in Iraq, would it?

IF ONLY? -- If only the US, EU, and NATO countries wouldn't interfere in the politics of other (non-European countries), and stop supplying weapons to destabilize, and overthrow these governments, like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and now Ukraine? -- (NOW?) -- Look for the US to seek a cease-fire to form a separatist Sunni, Kurdish, and Shia state in Iraq, (and if they do), you'll know the reason for their interference.....

by: Richard from: NC
June 15, 2014 7:25 PM
The most recent Iranian statements indicate that US help is unwanted. 2000 Iranian troops have already been sent and another 8,000 promised. That was even before the recent Iranian military leadership meeting. In addition, Shia volunteers were recently at 1.5 million. It doesn't appear that Iraq needs any help. It is also unlikely that the US - or anyone in the West - will have much to say about how operations are conducted.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
June 15, 2014 10:42 PM
Iran never sends Iranian troops to fight in any country other than Iran, but they do let former Iran military volunteers, (like the US and other countries do), go fight in conflicts in other countries... (Iran may send military advisers, like the US does to some countries?)

NEVER trust the news stories in the news media, from "staged" news interviews?

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