America’s Cycles of Change

US Propping Up Fearful Iraqi Generals as Baghdad Burns

Thu, 19 May 2016

The latest wave of ISIL suicide bomb attacks in Baghdad, killing scores of civilians at a time, has shaken the Iraqi government and army so much they want to move key units back to the capital, potentially stalling the drive on Mosul insisted upon by their US “advisers.”

US Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren, respected for his remarkably frank, detailed and open assessments of developments in the war against ISIL, let that cat out of the bag in a briefing to reporters on Wednesday (May 18).

“As of today, we have not seen the Iraqi government redeploying troops to Baghdad,” Warren said. “There was some discussion of it but they changed their minds.”

Russia’s Sputnik news agency seized on that comment as “a possible reflection of growing friction between the U.S. and Iraqi military and political officials on the U.S. plan to focus resources on retaking northwestern Mosul [province].” This seems a realistic assessment.

Four Star US Army General Joseph Votel, who runs CENTCOM, head of U.S. Central Command, confirmed that US military planners took the Iraqi concern over the Baghdad crisis seriously.

“If this is not addressed quickly, it could cause [the Baghdad government] to have to take action to divert forces and divert their political focus on that, as opposed to things like Mosul or finishing up their activities out in Anbar,” he later told CNN.

A few weeks ago, we noted how a complacent President Barack Obama partied at the White House Correspondents dinner in Washington and poked fun at Donald Trump alleged amateurishness on foreign policy after supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr and his Peace Brigades (Suraya al-Salaam) stormed the sacrosanct Green Zone of Iraq’s rulers in Baghdad only hours before.

The crumbling of the US military investment and grand strategy in Iraq continues unabated – as we then predicted.