Even Iraq Says They Don’t Need US Ground Forces to Defeat the Islamic State

Haider al-Abadi

There’s nothing wrong with being a political hawk when it comes to fighting our enemies as long as it’s warranted. When the need to be hawkish for political expediency supersedes common sense and proper alignment with the geopolitical needs of the United States, I take offense.

There’s no need to be hawkish for the sake of being hawkish, but that’s exactly what’s happening in Washington DC right now. Republican Presidential candidates wanting to beef up their military credibility are saying that we need more troops in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State when that’s simply not necessary. Iraq’s Prime Minister has declared exactly what is needed. The Kurdish factions in Iraq have said the same thing. When will President Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and several Republican candidates realize that the solution to the Islamic State is staring us in the face.

There’s no reason to put additional troops in the Middle East, not when an alternative is available that actually makes more sense. The limited engagement that Carter refers to which would put an additional couple hundred special forces units for particular missions is as far as we should go. Calls for massive troop deployments when there are fighters wanting to do the work is politically motivated.

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