In a really stunning piece of international news, the U.S. is sending 600 troops to Iraq in an attempt to retake the city of Mosul, which is currently occupied by ISIS forces. The move was announced by Defense Secretary Ash Carter earlier today, who pitched the troop surge as support for the Iraqi military.
From his statement:
“The troops, in close coordination with the government of Iraq, will provide specific capabilities including logistics and maintenance support; train, advise and assist teams for Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga for the upcoming Mosul operation; and expanded intelligence resources to help disrupt ISIL’s terrorist network in Iraq and beyond.”
The move will increase the U.S. troop presence from 4,600 to 5,200. It’s already meeting criticism from Republicans, with John McCain calling it an example of “mission creep.”
So, there are a few questions we could ask, such as:
1. Even if we retake Mosul, is this really going to measurably fix the situation in Iraq in the long term?
2. What happens when we leave?
3. When the Iraqi forces prove incapable of maintaining whatever we accomplish, does that mean we can’t leave?
But then again, why even bother asking these questions? It’s clear that Obama, and the entire American political leadership, is just fine with repeating the mistakes of the past, over and over and over, with no concern for the fact that it just doesn’t work. If the sign of insanity is repeating the same stupid action ad nauseam while expecting different results, then what would you call this?