Skip to comments.Kerry: No troops to rescue Fallujah and Ramadi from Al-Qaeda
Posted on 01/06/2014 8:22:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The US fought for years to free Anbar province from the grip of al-Qaeda during the Iraq War. Fallujah and Ramadi turned into pitched battlefronts, and later “the surge” convinced local Sunni tribes to join the US effort to dispel AQ from the region. More than two years after the US pulled all of its forces out of Iraq, AQ is back — and Ramadi and Fallujah appear to have fallen once again:
The city center of Iraq’s Fallujah has fallen completely into the hands of fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, police said Saturday, Jan. 4, yet another victory for the hardline group that has made waves across the region in recent days.
ISIL is also one of the strongest rebel units in Syria, where it has imposed a strict version of Islamic law in territories it holds and kidnapped and killed anyone it deems critical of its rule. Also on Saturday, it claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in a Shiite-dominated neighborhood in Lebanon.
Hadi Razeij, head of the Anbar province police force, said police had left the city center entirely and had positioned themselves on the edge of town.
“The walls of the city are in the hands of the police force, but the people of Fallujah are the prisoners of ISIL,” he said, speaking on Arabic language satellite broadcaster al-Arabiya.
The US, which is still at war with al-Qaeda under the terms of the October 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), and who has allied with the government in Baghdad, wants to help “in any way possible,” Secretary of State John Kerry announced this weekend. That is, any way that doesn’t involve fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq:
Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Sunday that the United States is ready to help Iraq in any way possible as that country began a major offensive to wrest control of two cities from al-Qaeda-linked militants. But he made it clear that no American troops would be sent in.
Kerry described the militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, as the most dangerous players in the region. But as Iraqi forces launched airstrikes and clashed with the militants in western Anbar province on Sunday, Kerry said it was Iraqs battle to fight. …
This is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis, Kerry said toward the end of a visit to Jerusalem. We are not, obviously, contemplating returning. We are not contemplating putting boots on the ground. This is their fight, but were going to help them in their fight.
Kerry didnt give details of what assistance the United States might provide but said it would do everything that is possible. After Maliki appealed in November for more U.S. support in fighting extremists, Washington sent 75 Hellfire missiles and promised to dispatch drones.
It’s worth pointing out that the same group has upended Barack Obama’s Syrian policy, too. Both could have been avoided had the US worked out an extension of the security agreement that kept American troops on the ground in Iraq to deal with al-Qaeda. Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates fully expected that to happen, and so did Leon Panetta. Even Nouri al-Maliki expected the Americans to stay, or return almost immediately after the withdrawal two years ago.
Instead, both Obama and Joe Biden twiddled their thumbs and ended up with no position at all in Iraq. Not surprisingly, the vacuum left in western Iraq allowed al-Qaeda to regroup, and then attempt to destabilize both Iraq and Syria. Instead of stamping out the cancer, we let it metastasize again, this time more virulently than before.
That’s not to say that Kerry isn’t doing anything. He’s, er, inviting Iran to expand its influence in the region:
The Obama administration opened the door for the first time Sunday to Iranian participation at the Syrian peace talks in Switzerland later this month.
Softening the former hard line against any role for Iran if it refuses to endorse the Jan. 22 conference ground rules, Secretary of State John F. Kerry suggested that Iran might be able to participate from the sidelines.
Could they contribute from the sidelines? Are there ways for them conceivably to weigh in? Kerry said of the Iranians, who oppose the conferences goal of establishing a transitional government in Syria, its ally and neighbor.
Kerry suggested that Irans diplomatic office in Geneva might be able to help as an unofficial participant.
allowing al quada to establish a safe haven for training and planning purposes is what led to 9/11 in the first place.
this seals it. we will see another attack, perhaps even more spectacular than 9/11.
Public support for sending US troops to Iraq would be around 10 or 20%.
McCain, Grahamnesty, Bill Kristol, probably Cheney, ....only the neo-con club wants to go through that again.
Now, too busy being an ambassador for global homosexualization than to be concerned about Fallujah.
Not our problem.
Muslims are animals and aren’t deserving of American blood being wasted.
Now, too busy being an ambassador for global homosexualization than to be concerned about Fallujah.
EXACTLY what I was thinking.
Why would we attack them when they are helping us in Syria? Or vice versa, whatever.
What? Is he now Commander-in-Chief too?
We all knew this would happen. Now Iraq will have to figure it out without us.
Our troops will be back in the Middle East once the jihadi takeover is accomplished. Then, we can be shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, that this area poses a threat to Freedom (cue "The Battle Hymn of the Republic") around the globe.
It's time for World War III!!! (Corporate defense contractors all cheer at this point)
There is an old saying that”Afghanistan is the place where big nations go to die.” That is not only true but also includes pretty much all if the Middle East. These tribal nations have no understanding of truly representative government and little or no desire to live within its confines. There has been almost constant war or invasion since 5000 B.C. in most of that region. Who in hell are we to think that sort of history can be reversed? Drill our own oil and tell them to shove theirs back where the sun don’t shine.
No, mac daddy tell horse face what to say therefore when the shi* hits the fan mac daddy can once again say he knew nothing about what was going on and only found out about it from the nws today.
The only true friends we have in the mideast is Israel. I also include Jordan but that’s only true for as long as Abdulla lives. I suppose we could also include Egypt for as long as we continue to pay them.
Personally I would quit screwing around with troops and money in the mideast and park a carrier group in the eastern Mediterranean and make a solid trade and defense pact with Israel.
Obama’s friends and allies have taken what we gave lives and wealth to capture. Of course we won’t do anything to stop them. Little Obama is probably giddy.
RE: These tribal nations have no understanding of truly representative government and little or no desire to live within its confines. There has been almost constant war or invasion since 5000 B.C. in most of that region.
Remember our original rationale for going to Afghanistan?
It was to get Osama Bin Ladin. DONE.
It was also to drive Al Qaeda and the Taliban away from Afghanistan. NOT DONE.
Maybe we might just want to forget the second goal... well what’s to stop the next Bin Ladin from taking over the place and recreating another 9/11 if we leave the place?
We might not be interested in war, but war is interested in us.
Where do we stand on THAT tally ?
Or does it really matter ?
I think you badly overestimate the popularity of sending in troops.
Your solution is to stay in Afghanistan for how long exactly? Until what happens?
The enemy center of gravity is in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Conquer there, and Afghanistan becomes meaningless.
Leave them in peace, and our sacrifices remain meaningless.
Parsing words? We didn’t initially have any troops in Vietnam. What were they ‘special advisers” or something like that. A Vietnam War hero like Secretary Kerry would know that.
Nuke Karachi and Riyadh and watch how calm things get.
“I suppose we could also include Egypt for as long as we continue to pay them.”
Not any more. Egypt is pissed that we backed the Muslim Brotherhood and put them into office.
I am not concerned about Fallujah in the slightest.
Why are you? To what end?
Let me tell you my Fallujah policy. Within 24 hours of those contractors being murdered and tied to that bridge, I would have surrounded the city and ordered the inhabitants to leave. I would have had checkpoints and any "foreign fighters" I discovered on the way out would have been shot on the spot.
When the 48 hours were up, I would have erased Fallujah from the face of the earth with 4 low altitude airbursts from W-76 warheads.
I would then have summoned King Fahd, President Musharraf, and Mullah Omar under safe passage and given a 30 minute presentation about how Trident submarines work.
There was, and is, no other satisfactory solution to the Fallujah problem.
If we had nuked Tora Bora in December 2001, we and Saddam would have been besties within twelve hours, and he and his army would have done anything we asked.
I'm not, other than to point out the disingenuousness of Jon Kerry. I kinda like your policy.
Not our problem.
Muslims are animals and arent deserving of American blood being wasted.
Nuking Tora Bora would have alleviated a symptom. The source of the disease is Saudi Arabia. That’s the boil that needs to be lanced. Permanently.
If I recall correctly it was the Bush presidencies that took the USA into the hell hole of the middle east in the first place. The first time was to save the Saudi kingdom to back stab the USA once again for oil revenues and the second time was to avenge what wasn’t done the first time. Shame on the USA ‘leaders’ who wasted the lives of USA young men to keep foreign oil flowing. I feel entitled to make such comments as a survivor as an infantry person of WWII who had his only sibling brother killed on Okinawa. We knew what we were fighting for was worth more than Saudi oil which was going to the Nazis.
Let the Iraqi tribal leadees take care of bidness this time
Last time, al Qaeda (many of whom are “foreigners” or not connected to the local culture) way overstepped itself, butchered the wrong child, committed other atrocities and pixxed off the local tribal hoi polloi and cultural leaders so bad they finally took things into their own hands and decide to cooperate with the US military.
That’s the only solution
Fallujah either wants to be an extreme islamic sharia hugging haven.... or not. We need to stay OUT OF IT
This is why the terms of the withdrawal represent a complete disaster. A U.S. military presence still in the country could have blown these Al-Qaeda bastards to Kingdom come.
Yes but the first Bush was careful to setup the war so the US looked good, had a real coalition and took few or no allied causalities, and we didnt get stuck with the bill $$$. It had a clear and doable mission :Get Iraq out of Kuwait then get out.
GWB invasion trying to top his dad's was the complete opposite. It was one disaster after another and I can only conclude that he didn't know or care what he was doing..
You don't invade and occupy these hellholes.
we did drive the al Qaeda leadership out of Afghanistan
where did you think they would run to, if you were advising Bush in 2002? Bush’s intelligence advisors figured Iraq
So since we made that untenable, they ended up in Pakistan, and 2d axis in Yemen
and now “fighters” making their way into Libya Syria and Iraq, but where is their leadership ensconced? Nowhere obama the drone king is willing to effectively neutralize
It’s despicable that US policy allowed thousands of our troops to be killed to allow the creation of the must corrupt government on earth.
Yes, I quite agree, as you can see from my many posts on this topic.
The enemy center of gravity is KSA and Pakistan.
The only US military presence that had any interest for me would have been an occupation force protecting the American governor of Arabia and his lieutenants as they reconstructed and reeducated the local's children.
Agree. Leave the graveyard of empires and the devil's sandbox to their respective populations.
Per Fox News reporting: The propaganda wing of the white hut just announced that eagle eye drones and hellfire missiles are on the way to Iraq. It’s groundhog day all over again.
I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.
Since when is the Secretary of State the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces?
Where does he get off calling the shots on what our military missions are?
Fallujah is home to the al Muthanna chemical weapons site. Which still has chemical weapons in its bunkers that have not yet been destroyed and may be to dangerous to destroy.
Their leadership is parked in Iran.