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US likely to be involved in Iraq: Could it be another long drawn war, a Le Vietnam

Updated on December 23, 2017

Bogged in Iraq

Mosul is the headquarters of the ISIS. Possibly the "great Caliph" Al-Baghdadi is holed up there. The place has great symbolic value and the US and the Iraqi army have launched an attack to wrest it back from the ISIS. The battle for Mosul commenced a few months back. That by itself is a sad commentary on the efficacy of the Iraqi army. The Iraqi army on its own has been unable to make any progress. It's fighting capability is suspect as they lost large tracts of land equivalent to the size of France to the ISIS. This was a humiliating defeat and underscored the fact that the Shia-dominated force despite all the training of the US and the latest weaponry was simply not up to the task. The throwing in the towel happened after Obama had withdrawn the US army from Iraq as per his manifesto.

The battle commenced many months back. Seeing the tardy progress the US lent air support and began a bombing of theISIS positions. Some progress was made by the Iraqi after that and parts of the city are occupied. But the war of attrition is not easy and despite US air support, Mosul is still not captured.As a military analyst one can see that US Air Force has created a "favorable air situation" and that alone is responsible for whatever advance the Iraqi army has made.The US has now committed its ground troops to battle and about 5000 of them have entered the arena. Casualties have commenced and the first wounded have been airlifted for treatment. This is sad that soldiers are dying thousands of miles away chasing an impossible dream.

Rise of the Generals

General Mattis

Donald Trump has shown his preference for military generals and inducted 2 of them in pivotal positions. One of them is General Mattis, a decorated soldier but I am afraid with little comprehension of political and economic power. He is hardly expected to know the cost of war. There is another General McMaster also appointed and I am afraid he is in the same boat as Mattis. One can't have generals formulating political policy. The US has been fighting a war ever since 1950. One can say it is a nation in a perpetual state of war. That is certainly not a nice thing.

On a recent visit to Iraq, the secretary defense general Mattis confirmed that the US forces would remain in Iraq even after the capture of Mosul. This is a realistic statement as a soldier. It is well known that the Iraqi army will simply crumble against the iSIS once US support is withdrawn. The question Mattis is unable to answer is that as to how long the US forces will remain in Iraq and if so what will it cost the US? Donald has been trumpeting a reduction in cost for example in NATO, so what will this additional cost amount to? Mattis and other generals may not be aware of a deficit of 3 trillion dollars in the US budget.

Perpetual War

Questions about Iraq

This raises serious questions about Iraq. Political strategists are wondering how long will the USA carry on the battle against the ISIS in Iraq. With the Iraqi army inept, the USA is thinking of a Sunni alliance with the Saudi's as the leader. This does not inspire confidence as it is too simplistic a solution. The Saudi alliance has been unable to dislodge the Houthi's in Yemen and beating the ISIS is not going to be easy. The cost to the US economy is also prohibitive with a deficit of over 3 trillion dollars. Who will bridge this? How will a further commitment in Iraq affect the economy? Now one can realize what a blunder George Bush committed. He is sleeping soundly in his bed and the poor Iraqi people are dying by the hundreds.

One has an ominous feeling that another Vietnam is in the making. What happened? a humiliating defeat. Keep your fingers crossed.


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    • emge profile image
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      Madan 13 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Dear Ken, I cannot help but agree with you. Trump brought in some fresh ideas but he is throttled. Yes, ISIS which is a Sunni organization is not going to go away. They are sustained by the government's in Europe. Yes, they will remain long after we go away from this world. It is a battle between good and evil. Now who is good and who is bad? Anyone either Shia or Sunni wins will be good and the other bad.Thats a long way off. In the meantime America must guard itself

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 13 months ago from Florida

      If Trump hadn't been elected, we would already be in a escalating war, with Russia. If Clinton had been handed the baton from Obama, that exactly was the plan.

      One of the reasons why there is this incessant 'Red Scare' being pushed down America's throat by the 'establishment' politicians (IE - Pelosi, Watters, McCain... the ones that have been entrenched in D.C. for 30 years) is because that was the plan.

      Trump has deviated from that plan... such an annoyance for them that this outsider, this anti-establishment uncouth agitator got elected President... they are still wondering "how on earth did this happen???"

      They are trying to manipulate him into continuing forward with an aggressive approach towards Russia, but I'm not sure he is buying into it.

      As for ISIS... other than protecting America from them, and keeping them from building a network in America, they aren't going to go away, Europe is a breading ground for extremists, the perfect place to cultivate the discontent and the disillusioned. The perfect place because their very social support systems help fund ISIS, not that they really need it, both Iran and Saudi Arabia fund the Sunni and Shi'ite factions throughout the Middle East, these battles will never end until one side or the other is defeated, and that isn't going to happen as no one is willing to invade either Iran or Saudi Arabia to make that happen.

      The conflict between the two states, and between the two sects of the same faith, will continue on long past when you and I are gone from this earth.

      America's best bet, is to back out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and go after anyone in our country with a vengeance that so much as sympathizes with radical Islamic groups, jihadists, or violent provocateurs of the faith.

    • emge profile image
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      Madan 13 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      I have been a pilot and seen colleagues die. It's so futile and sadly people like Trump may start another war. He is asking for 54 billion extra. God save us. Thanks Kathleen.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 13 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      emge: That is the problem. Some of us have strong reactions to this subject because we are involved. I have four friends who've lost children in this war. I have a friend who lost both his legs. And 20 service member a day - a day - commit suicide because of the repercussions of being at war for 16 non-stop years.

      Oh, and why don't we go into Syria or Iran? Because it's insanity: doing the same thing over and over then expecting a different result.

    • emge profile image
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      Madan 13 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Thanks. America is still the leader and the world looks up to it. Battling ISIS is not easy. Sadly it is an American creation.

    • emge profile image
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      Madan 13 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Thank you Kathleen for your observation.

    • emge profile image
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      Madan 13 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Kathleen that is the problem. There is no sense of involvement. Thanks for commenting.

    • emge profile image
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      Madan 13 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      This is part of the changing times. Congress has abdicated its responsibility otherwise it would have put the brakes on Bush. Even now Trump is going to have a clear run.

    • profile image

      Setank Setunk 13 months ago

      The problem is that neither of these conflicts can be defined as War under the rule of law. Through the War Powers Act these conflicts were merely an extension of political foreign policy interests. Congress has long abandoned their exclusive right to take the country to war, and have done so to preserve their own political careers.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 13 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      "some weird reason"? Violating the constitution and breaking a bunch of laws. What do they teach in schools these days? Vietnam was our last war when we drafted people into service. We were a good deal more involved than we are now when only 1% of us serve. That's why people aren't paying attention and it is going on forever.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 13 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Length-wise, it's already about five years past Vietnam. Thank God, we haven't lost the 50,000 we lost in that war. Yes, Bush got us into the Mother off all Messes. If the war on terror is the equivalent of the cold war, it will take an entire generation to run its course. I'd go back to the cold war in a heartbeat.

    • Misfit Chick profile image

      Catherine Mostly 13 months ago from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD

      I was a little kid when Vietnam came to an end. During that time, I remember seeing a few protests on the news; and I remember the big deal of Nixon resigning for some weird reason. That's it.

      However, I've heard people talk about it and compare it to every conflict we get into as a country. It was controversial from the beginning - there was no unity or call for war like there was after the attack on Pearl Harbor. So, it was a lot harder to get the country behind it.

      It was the first war we had that our entire country didn't become involved: industries were not turned into weapons & equipment manufacturing for war. Men were drafted & not running to sign up due to an impassioned sense of patriotic protection. Women did not stay behind and take over their jobs. We didn't sacrifice with rations & victory gardens, etc.

      It is still hard to get our country behind ISIS because their chaos happens so far away; and many people don't consider it to be our problem - and politicians apparently have to work around that. Our country used to unite around things: not just wars. Its been a very long time since we've done much of that. Its everyone for himself, now.

    • emge profile image
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      Madan 13 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      I completely agree with you. It is sad that a nation is at war for over 6 decades and that is a sure shot recipe for losing great power status.

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 13 months ago from Florida

      Could it become another Vietnam?

      That was being asked back in 2001... I laughed then, I laugh now... ALL WARS become the next Vietnam when you don't fight them to win at all costs, when you are unwilling to do whatever is necessary to totally and completely destroy the enemy.

      The 'enemy' in Iraq, in Afghanistan, etc. is being funded by Iran, or Saudi Arabia... Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, who-ever, all given support by either Saudi or Iran.

      So no... the war will never be 'won', the war will never 'end'. And that was evident to anyone with a modicum of understanding back in 2001.

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