Saturday, June 14, 2014

Iraq Is Vietnam 2.0 And U.S. Drones Won’t Solve The Problem

By Leslie Gelb

When the jihadis took over the city of Mosul and began their march towards Baghdad, Washington was of course shocked. But officials, legislators, and policy experts in that fair city should not have been shocked. What happened in Iraq was history as usual. The U.S. fights in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and Vietnam and other places (maybe next in Syria), provides billions of dollars in arms, trains the friendly soldiers, then begins to pull out—and what happens? Our good allies on whom we’ve squandered our sacred lives and our wealth fall apart. That’s what’s happening in Iraq now.

And before the U.S. government starts to do the next dumb thing again, namely provide fighter aircraft and drone attacks and heaven knows what else, it should stop and think for a change. If America comes to the rescue of this Iraqi government, then this Iraqi government, like so many of the others we’ve fought and died for, will do nothing. It will simply assume that we’ll take over, that we’ll do the job.  And when things go wrong, and they certainly will, this cherished government that we’re helping will blame only America. Don’t think for a moment it will be otherwise. Don’t think for a moment that the generals and hawks who want to dispatch American fighters and drones to the rescue know any better today than they’ve known for 50 years.

Read the rest here.


  1. Gelb is President Emeritus CFR, interesting his commentary. Even the militarized establishment must be recognizing that the non-stop war posture DC has initiated since 911 (both abroad and domestically) is an ultimate loser. Of course Gelb more than anyone knows it is not about rationality or taking military action as a last resort, it is about much of the economy of the U.S. (and lesser extent Europe) being built on militarism, and of course the declining reserve currency AKA dollar.
    TPTB must be freaked about the present state of the global financial system and potential for global unrest---they should be!!!

  2. Perhaps instead of training these middle easterners how to fight, we should have been learning how to fight from them?

  3. to be fair we are the indispensable nation....apparently