U.S. executing weak-hand troop reset in Iraq

Got an uncomfortable feeling about this.

At first glance, this might not sound to some observers like it’s that bad a move.  But it’s worrisome, and the reason is stated simply.  It leaves U.S. troops in Iraq, some still at the remote bases, but with less security than they had before the “drawdown.”

It’s also being done as the result of attacks on the U.S. and other Coalition troops at the Iraqi bases earlier in 2021.  Such a prelude inevitably creates a sense that the Iran-backed “militias” that launched the attacks have the U.S. on the run.  That’s not a useful basis for security expectations going forward.

It isn’t getting much media attention in the U.S., but an 18 December article indicates the Iraqi army has announced that “foreign combat troops” have left Al-Asad air base in Anbar Province, and that the base is now under the full control of the Iraqi army. Continue reading “U.S. executing weak-hand troop reset in Iraq”

Ramadi’s fall has positioned Iran for a big score

Interesting times.

Refugees from a fallen Ramadi clog the roadways outside Baghdad in May 2015. (Image: Corbis vis Newsweek)
Refugees from a fallen Ramadi clog the roadways outside Baghdad in May 2015. (Image: Corbis via Newsweek)

If you listen to the mainstream media, you probably think mainly that a superior force of Iraqi national troops abandoned the city of Ramadi to Islamic State 10 days ago – by implication, doing so in spite of U.S. support to the Iraqis and the battle.

As Americans were wondering “What happened?” over the past week, words uttered by Ashton Carter, the U.S. secretary of defense, came to seem like the answer.  His signature comment was to the effect that the Iraqis were unwilling to fight.

As a cherry on top, I heard (Tuesday evening) a news anchor on the local ABC affiliate chirp out the theory that Carter’s harsh assessment “may have prompted” the Iraqi government to mount its impending operation to retake Ramadi.  The implication is that the Iraqis had to be goaded into it.  Local affiliates don’t make up foreign-affairs news narratives on their own; this was undoubtedly fed to them by the staff at ABC headquarters. Continue reading “Ramadi’s fall has positioned Iran for a big score”

Islamic State burns 45 Iraqis to death outside Al-Asad air base

Interesting times.

(Image via Tea Party Tribune)
(Image via Tea Party Tribune)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Missing the big picture at Al-Asad air base

Be worried.

Not the middle of nowhere, but you can get there from here. Part of Al-Asad air base in 2008. (Image via JohnsonMatel.com)
Not the middle of nowhere, but you can get there from here. Part of Al-Asad air base in 2008. (Image via JohnsonMatel.com)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding. Enjoy!

Did U.S. private security contractors engage with ISIS in Anbar last week?

Interesting times.

Private security contractors fight in Iraq in 2004. (Image via UK Telegraph)
Private security contractors fight in Iraq in 2004. (Image via UK Telegraph)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!