The Sunni militant group ISIS continues to gather power as the United States weighs its options, including possibly working with Iran.
The U.S. ramping up its presence in the region.
Obama announced yesterday that 275 ground troops are on their way to Iraq who are equipped for combat. Their purpose is to protect American citizens and property in Baghdad. They will remain there until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed.
The Obama administration is also said to be considering sending Special Forces. Over 100 special force troops may be sent for the purposes of advising and training Iraqi troops. According to Fox News, their mission would be "non-operational training, therefore making it forbidden for them to engage in combat.
Over the weekend, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the USS George H.W. Bush to the Persian Gulf, accompanied by a guided-missile cruiser and destroyer. They are there for additional flexibility.
John McCain has made it clear that we should be striving to minimize Iran's role in Iraq, just as Secretary Kerry says that we are open to the idea of working with them to resolve the growing crisis in Iraq. McCain makes the point of why we shouldn't encourage Iran's participation: This is the same Iranian regime that has trained and armed the most dangerous Shia militant groups, that has consistently urged Prime Minister Maliki to pursue a narrow sectarian agenda at the expense of national reconciliation, that supplies the rockets that have been fired at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, that has sponsored acts of terrorism throughout the Middle East and the world, and that continues to use Iraq's territory and airspace to send weapons and fighters to prop up Bashar al-Assad in Syria... For all of these reasons, and more, the United States should be seeking to minimize greater Iranian involvement in Iraq right now, not encouraging it. That means rapid, decisive U.S. action to degrade ISIS and halt their offensive in Iraq.
Fox New's Jennifer Griffin reports, The commander of Iran's elite Quds Force, Gen. Ghasem Soleimani, was in Iraq on Monday and consulting with the government there on how to stave off insurgents' gains. Iraqi security officials said the U.S. government was notified in advance of the visit by Soleimani, whose forces are a secretive branch of Iran's Revolutionary Guard that in the past has organized Shiite militias to target U.S. troops in Iraq and, more recently, was involved in helping Syria's President Bashar Assad in his fight against Sunni rebels.
It gets worse. The Washington Free Beacon reports that the State Department knew that Iran had 'trained, funded, and provided guidance' to ethnic Iraqi terror groups bent on destabilizing the country. The warning was issued in April of this year. This State Department would like you to believe that Iran and the United States have a shared interest in Iraq, but based on this report it is clear that this is not the case. Iran is a prime sponsor and enabler of radical destabilizing groups throughout the region.
This is also the same Iran that has been carrying out secret executions of political opponents, according to brand new reports.
So the same country that was targeting our troops and fomenting civil war in Syria, on the side of Assad, is now consulting with the very troops we are going in to help stave off the ISIS? It just seems wrong.
As of Tuesday, the BBC reports that clashes are taking place in the city of Baquba, which is 40 miles north of Baghdad. Pentagon officials are confirming that military equipment from the United States including trucks and Humvees have fallen into the hands of the ISIS and are being shipped to al Qaeda militants in Syria.
The Daily Beast reports that defense and intelligence officials claim that it is difficult for the United States to carry out targeted military strikes because we do not have boots on the ground providing intelligence. It's hard to tell who are the bad guys and which guys could be turned against the ISIS. And while the analysts are trying to figure out who they should zero in on, Obama administration lawyers are wrestling with what legal authorities the president might have to carry out an attack. But don't worry. Where the United States has failed, Iran has offered to step up with everything [the Iraqis] need in the vacuum of leadership. Will we allow that to happen? Will we partner with the Iranians? Time for Obama to show some decisive action and leadership.