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Obama Should Arm the Kurds to Fight ISIS in Iraq
President Obama has authorized airstrikes against some ISIS targets and dropping humanitarian supplies on trapped Iraqi citizens surrounded by ISIS, some 40,000 of them. It is amazing how Obama does not think the whole ISIS mess is not humanitarian because they force thousands to move from captured cities or face death. They have slaughtered thousands already, Obama does not seem to think it is also genocide until the blight of the innocent have no place to go. As long as they do, it is not genocide.
The only force capable of fighting ISIS at this stage are the Kurds militia, a stable ally of the USA throughout the years. Their defensive lines held ISIS in place until they used American humvees as mobile car bombs to race through their lines. Since the Kurds have no AT weapons to penetrate the armor, they were defenseless. The Kurds are lightly armed and ISIS is now armed with armor vehicles like M1 tanks, APCs. American airstrikes will only do so much and what is needed are boots on the ground and the Kurds have already shown their ability to defend against ISIS.
Obama is even reluctant to send the Kurds needed ammunition, light antitank rockets, radios, night-vision aids, and body armor. Why? ISIS has night vision capability and the Kurds do not. Light AT weapons could nullify the ISIS APCs used a mobile car bombs. Spare parts are needed for the Kurd's own APCs and tanks, which is why they are not being used. They need artillery shells for sustained artillery fire. The US should use the Kurds as spotters for American or Iraqi F-16s to target ISIS.
The Kurds have shown a strong determination to fight for their territory now threatened by ISIS, they have stalled them at Diyala but as units ran out of ammo, they retreated. The bulk of the Kurdish forces are at Kirkuk. The Kurdish forces far outnumber ISIS, which is from 7-10,000. The Kurds have at least 50,000 and this is a conservative number. Unlike the Iraqi Army that routed when facing ISIS, the Kurds stood and fought until ammo ran out.
ISIS poses a grave risk to Kurdistan’s hard-won security, and could thwart Kurdish efforts to build an independent state. The current ISIS offensive is directed at their areas and have seized the Mosul Dam, which is about 30 miles from Mosul, controlled by ISIS.
President Obama continues to be the overly cautious leader unless the situation becomes so dire. The problem with this is that by the time the situation reaches this condition, America can do little to change the situation. If Obama refuses to put US soldiers on the ground, he must use the peshmerga (those who face death) soldiers of the Kurdish army to halt ISIS and equip them to do so.