The United States is mulling further intervention in Iraq as government forces flee Al Qaeda-linked insurgents and the country appears teetering on chaos. While the Administration is not ready to commit boots on the grounds, we may be moving toward a further influx of hundreds of millions or billions in military aid and even air strikes. As ISIS insurgents are seizing U.S. weaponry, the U.S. has already started to flood the country a new massive shipment of new free weapons.
Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or ISIS is on a roll and nearing the capital. It is an al-qaeda linked terrorist group following the Wahhabi movement, the extreme religious view advanced by our ally Saudi Arabia.
So let’s take stock. We replaced a dictator based on lies in a massive invasion ordered by George W. Bush. We then spent over $2 trillion (the cost is over $4 trillion when you include Afghanistan). Both President Bush and President Obama continued to pour hundreds of billions of dollars in the country despite massive corruption and billions that simply disappeared. At the same time we have been cutting back on our own educational, environmental, scientific, and social programs due to a lack of money. Consider what $4 trillion would have done.
More importantly, we have lost some 4,486 U.S. service members between 2003 and 2012. Thousands have been wounded, many with lifelong disabilities. Our leaders continued to pour troops into the country because no one wanted to admit that the war was a mistake or that we were losing to Islamic insurgents. We continued to lose people and spend trillions in the belief that we could reverse centuries of sectarian and social strife.
In the meantime, we became increasingly hated by many Iraqis and we opened the country not to Saddamists but Al Qaeda forces who moved into the area as an opportunity to fight America and take over large parts of the country. They are now seizing advanced US weaponry so we are again arming extremists. Now to make our disaster complete we not only have Al Qaeda taking control of areas but Iran has now reportedly sent in troops to fuel the Shiite/Sunni violence. It is offering as many as 10,000 Iranian troops.
It is another example of the economic principle of “path dependence”: we have so much invested that we cannot change course. So once again, we will open up our coffers until the last helicopter leaves from the roof from the Green Zone.