by Ezra Van Auken
A little over a year ago in October, President Obama declared that the nearly decade-long war in Iraq would be drawing to an end by January 2012. Obama went on to say, “We’ll help Iraqis strengthen institutions that are just, representative and accountable. We’ll build new ties of trade and of commerce, culture and education that unleash the potential of the Iraqi people.”
Although, just last week in the fifteenth paragraph of a New York Times article was indication that Iraq’s condition is only crumbling. With the redeployment of an Army Special Operations force, there could be more on the way, according to the Times. “Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions,” due to the resurgence by Sunni Muslims and “spillover” from the Syrian war.
Besides the United States bringing a military presence to Iraq, the US has a $19 billion deal that includes an arsenal of weapons. Not only does the US have a multi-billion dollar program with the Iraqis but is also sending antiaircraft arms as well. This entire scenario is happening while Iraq allows Iran free airspace over their country.
Tom Hayden of thenation.com explains, “The irony is that the U.S. is protecting a pro-Iran Shiite regime in Baghdad against a Sunni-based insurgency while at the same time supporting a Sunni-led movement against the Iran-backed dictatorship in Syria,” referring to what many know as a proxy-war. Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki apparently has reinforcements to the border of Iraq and Syria to control the flow of militants crossing borders.
Much like the border situation in Iraq, when troops go through withdrawal from Afghanistan, many are worried the border will not be able to account for militants coming from Pakistan. A report by John Sopko, Inspector General of Afghanistan revealed that over $80 million dollars was wasted on Afghanistan border security, which clearly shows a grim outlook for Afghanistan as well.
Regardless of border protection in both Iraq and Afghanistan, violence inside Iraq has climbed recently with 33 killed and over 100 wounded. As RT reported, the car bombs targeted Shia neighborhoods, police checkpoints and other security areas. This comes after another rather large attack on September 26th south of Baghdad.