U.S. military fighting on behalf of Iran in Fallujah

· June 3, 2016  
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U.S. military convoy driving through the rain. Pavel Nemecek | AP Photo

Our nation just commemorated Memorial Day, honoring the sacrifices our soldiers have made over the years defending freedom.  Unfortunately, given that in a democracy where the military is controlled by a very flawed civilian leadership, those sacrifices don’t always result in improving our national security.  With a president like Barack Obama, we now have our military fighting ISIS in a part of Iraq that will only benefit Iran and their Hezbollah militias.  Isn’t it time our military be conserved for missions that exclusively benefit our national security without tipping the scales to our enemies in endless Islamic civil wars?

As part of Obama’s strategy to “fight ISIS” by siding with Iran, the U.S. is now assisting Iranian-backed Shiite militias (because the “Iraqi army” is essentially nonexistent) to retake the city of Fallujah.  While members of Congress continue to debate “boots on the ground” in Syria and Iraq in pursuit of ISIS, the reality is that boots are already on the ground.  The more salient question is what is their mission?  What is their end goal?  Their blood, sweat and treasure will go towards filling the vacuum of power with . . . more enemies of the United States?

While the Obama administration is contending that only our air power is being used to assist the Shiite militias in Fallujah, there are clearly special operators on the ground directing those airstrikes.  Meanwhile, as our special operators are sent to hornet nests of Islamic civil wars, Iran is sitting pretty watching us deplete our resources and stress out our best warriors essentially handing Iraq to their proxies – the same groups that murdered hundreds of American soldiers over the last decade.  The ground wars of the Shiite militias are being directed by Iran through the puppet government of al-Abadi in Baghdad. As James Gordon Meeks reports at ABC News, the effort to retake Fallujah from ISIS is essentially led by sectarian Shiites who have committed atrocities on the same scale as those of ISIS terrorists.  The lead effort is from the Hezbollah Brigades, designated by the State Department as a terror group.   

The bipartisan oligarchy that runs our foreign policy must learn that in the Middle East, the ‘enemy of my enemy’ is not always my friend and there are times when it’s not worth engaging so long as there is no likely outcome that will be positive enough to justify the risk to our soldiers.  Not only is the outcome of Iranian dominance of Anbar Province an outcome not worth fighting for, it will never work in the long run.  The very rise of ISIS was born out of the blowback from Shiite control in Baghdad.  This will continue in a circuitous cycle of sectarian violence.  Why should our special operators be placed into the septic tank from a position of weakness?

In addition to Iraq, we now have special operators all over Syria refereeing the multiple factions of the civil war.  Our government has already spent over a billion dollars funding all sides of that war, including different factions trained by the CIA and Defense Department that are now fighting each other.  Many of our weapons have fallen into the hands of Al Nusra.  There is now an effort afloat, which is gaining traction in the Obama administration, to side with the “moderate” Al Nusra and Ahrar Al Sham to fight ISIS in Syria the same way he is allying with Iran in Iraq.  It’s no coincidence given the support Al Nusra has gotten from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.   

Yet, instead of using the annual defense bill to demand more accountability and clarity on our operations in Syria, Congress will continue sending $600 million to “train and equip” Syrian rebels and $715 million to train and equip the “Iraqi security forces” aka Shiite militias reporting to the Iranian Quds Force.

Is it too much to ask that we not have our best soldiers fall on their swords for Islamism?        

After 15 years of action in Iraq and Afghanistan, repeating the cycle of sectarian civil wars, isn’t it prudent to ask that before we engage in another war, we have an operational pause and audit what we are doing in the Middle East and how it relates to our national security?  Each piece of the Middle East cannot be viewed in a vacuum, such as the goal of defeating ISIS; it must be analyzed and engaged like a Rubik’s cube.  We must ask what will come of the endless work of our special operations community in Syria and Iraq, which is already stretched thin in well over 100 countries around the world.  Which entity will hold the ground we recover and how will that help or hinder our allies and enemies in the region?  How will it fit in with our broader strategic interests? 

 

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Our special operations community has been particularly hit by this lost decade of foreign policy.  They were designed to mobilize for quick strikes or takedowns and return home to their families.  Instead, they have been deployed for 15 years with endless grueling missions that, even when they succeed and are not encumbered by appalling rules of engagement, are ultimately countermanded by the lack of a strategic plan in the long run.     

It’s time for conservatives to start thinking beyond Obama and formulating a defensible foreign policy that goes beyond simply opposing a pullout from the Middle East and droning on about “staying the course.”  The only thing worse than withdrawing from the Middle East is keeping our troops there with no mission, or worse, sacrificing their lives on behalf of other enemy forces.  


 

 

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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.