mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Iran in Iraq
Iraq Now Mostly Defended by Iran-Backed Militias

In Iraq, Shiite militias dominated by Iran now outnumber the formal army by at least 2:1. As the Washington Post reports:

With an estimated 100,000 to 120,000 armed men, the militias are rapidly eclipsing the depleted and demoralized Iraqi army, whose fighting strength has dwindled to about 48,000 troops since the government forces were routed in the northern city of Mosul last summer, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.

According to the Jerusalem PostHezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah also revealed this week that his Iran-backed group is operating within Iraq.

Needless to say, none of these groups are operating within the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice. And they are not only alleged to be butchering Sunni tribesmen, but also achieving success that will pave the way for an Iran-dominated Iraq. And U.S. airpower is assisting them.

The current Administration may be convinced it can cut a hegemony-for-no-nukes deal with Iran. But most Americans, of both parties, will be less than thrilled to think we’re driving ISIS out of Iraq just to create a wholly-owned province of Iran.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Fat_Man

    Congratulations we are now allied with the Country that calls us the Great Satan. No good can come from this.

  • Fat_Man

    “Obama’s Confused Iraqi Policy:U.S. air, aid, and advisers in Iraq are currently furthering Iran’s interests, not America’s.”

    Bing West & Owen West, January 27, 2015

    Good on the ground factual overview by the Wests.

    What really bothers me is that the people of the United States has had no explanation from the Administration of what their strategy is and what they expect to get out of it. Right now, i am fairly sure that the real answers to those questions are foolishness and bupkis.

  • gabrielsyme

    And Obama continues to get a pass from the media, despite his criminally negligent support for Maliki, long after Maliki had revealed himself to be an anti-Sunni tyrant.

    The world reaps what Obama sowed.

    • rheddles

      The world reaps what the American people sowed. Obama was very clear about what he wanted to do and he has done it. The voters have a lot of splainin to do.

      • f1b0nacc1

        While I am not in any way excusing the appallingly incompetent (dare I suggest malevolent?) foreign policy of this administration, the voters who have enabled him (many of whom are still ignorant enough to do so) are the real villians in this piece.

        • FriendlyGoat

          You could have had McCain and Palin. Fairly close, you know.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I am under no illusion that McCain would have been much better, but he would have clearly been better than Obama. That says more about how utterly awful Obama is than anything about McCain, who I hold in (almost) complete contempt

          • gabrielsyme

            McCain has a distressingly agressive outlook on emerging events, but it may be argued that a full dose would be better than the interventionist half-measures undertaken by Obama & co. At the very least McCain wouldn’t have scored the appalling own-goals of failing to negotiate a status-of-forces agreement with Iraq and announcing a withdrawl timetable for Afghanistan. And I think it highly doubtful that McCain would have been so disinterested in Iraq that he would have stuck with Maliki as he arrested his opponents, stiffed the Sunni tribes that created the Anbar Awakening and let Iran have an effective veto on Iraqi policy. Nor, I imagine, would McCain have left the Kurds unsupplied with arms as ISIS grew in strength and moved in on the Kurds.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Actually while I found McCain’s bellicosity somewhat off-putting, I could have lived with that, as the costs were relatively low. It was his pathetic desire to court the press (typically accomplished by throwing other Republicans under the bus) and his eagerness to embrace the worst excesses of the welfare state that I objected to.
            A terrible candidate who would have been an awful president…but even at that, better than what we have.

          • gabrielsyme

            Being a poor candidate has near-zero correlation (or possibly a negative correlation) with being a good leader. One could argue that Obama illustrates the reverse – he was a great candidate, but many of the very attributes that made him a great candidate have made him an utterly terrible President.

          • f1b0nacc1

            We don’t disagree, but I believe that McCain would have been an awful president, an awful leader, and a truly vile candidate…the trifecta!

      • gabrielsyme

        Obama didn’t promise the American people to blindly support Maliki when it became obvious that Maliki was fomenting sectarian hatred, nor deprive the Kurds of the support needed to defend themselves effectively. The American people voted for withdrawl from Iraq, they didn’t knowingly vote for massive incompetence.

        • rheddles

          You could make that argument about 2008 with a straight face, but not 2012. The American people did not vote for withdrawal from Iraq, they voted for Baraq Hussein Obama and it was clear in 2008 that he was a massive incompetent in everything except demagoguery.

          • gabrielsyme

            That’s a very fair point about 2012, and I agree. I think my general attitude is that one shouldn’t expect too much out of democracy, and one shouldn’t blame the people too much for failing to pay sufficient attention to the very ugly business of politics and the very complex business of policy.

          • rheddles

            That’s why the founders created a mixed government, not a democracy.

  • ChangeIranNow

    Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria directly led to the creation of ISIS and Iran’s manipulation of Maliki in Iraq destroyed hopes for
    a coalition government and drove Sunni tribes into the ISIS camp. In the year since Rouhani became president, Iran has laid a giant swath of chaos and violence stretching from Egypt to Gaza to Syria to Iraq and Yemen. Iran is at the heart of this sectarian violence because of its aim to create a Shia sphere of influence and destabilize Sunni nations. Unfortunately, has Obama –alarmingly–has ignored Iran’s transgressions, all for the sake of preserving a deal so he can claim a foreign policy win.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service