Welcome to the latest edition of The Why. “Why are we back in Iraq?” you ask? Good question. But first let’s set aside expected responses like “Because Obama sucks” and review a bit for those who could not keep up on current events.
Recently President Obama ordered a limited deployment of ground troops back to a combat zone in Iraq. (What will actually happen–if anything– is debatable and not relevant to the question at hand.)
So why are we back in Iraq when our leader became president because he was against confronting Iraq militarily? One reason is that he already tried an alternative solution or what Peter D. Feaver calls “a strategy of restraint” and that bombed. Those advocating restraint won the policy war on both Syria and Iraq and now the President must deal with the results.
Why are we back in Iraq? Our armed forces are back in Iraq because Obama is desperate enough to do what the more cynical of us think all politicians do. Namely, he’s desperate enough to consider doing the exact opposite of what got him elected in the first place.
Why are we back in Iraq? Our military has returned to Iraq because (as Feaver and others agree) President Obama is currently attempting to do—with this “small deployment”—what may have been accomplished earlier with a stronger commitment.
Why are we back in Iraq? We are back there because our elected leader can’t go on TV and tell us Iraq was lost from the start because his administration reportedly declared “mission accomplished” in 2011. He could actually believe it by now but cannot admit it.
Why are we back in Iraq? Some political pundits believe we are there because while some claim we have no real stakes in the fall of Iraq Obama does not believe that.
Why are we back in Iraq? We are there again because our commander-in-chief is attempting “interventionism.” Perhaps the prior unsuccessful attempts of restraint were persuasive enough to convince our skeptical president to try this “limited intervention.”
Why are we back in Iraq? Our friends in the forces are back in Iraq because when they took the job of working in the military they signed paperwork that pretty much said that whether it makes sense or not they have to go. They have no choice. They signed on the dotted line. As a Vietnam vet named “John” put it: “We sign a blank check to be sent anywhere to do whatever we’re told.”
Why are we back in Iraq? Now you know.
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