My bottom line: The world will not end, but this election result certainly puts a lot of hard work, blood, and sacrifice — ours, our allies, and the Iraqis — at risk.
Longer version: Military, diplomatic, and economic force is supposed to be used to attain strategic, political objectives. What have been ours? Depose Saddam’s regime, establish a free and democratic Iraq that is a partner against terrorism and not a threat to its neighbors.
How free is Iraq? A debatable question given the extend of Iranian influence and the inequality and suppression of minorities in Iraq.
How democratic is Iraq? Also a debatable question. Certainly, becoming a democracy is a process, and an uneven one at that. Look at our own history. Iraq had an election; I guess that’s a good thing. But what no one knows is whether Iraq is on a general spiral toward democracy or on a different trajectory. And given out spotty engagement history, we’re not much of an influence one way or the other.
Partner against terrorism? Against some brands of Sunni-terrorism, like AQ and ISIS, sometimes. But for sure not against some brands of Shia-terrorism. Certainly, Sadr has not been a partner with the U.S. on much of anything up to now. And the last time his party had control of ministries, sectarianism, violence, and corruption was their norm.
Threat to neighbors? Ask them. I think they’d say that the jury is still out and they’re not feeling good.
One way to look at the result of this election is to ask how the inconsistency of American policy and engagement has contributed to the result. For sure, our policies didn’t cause the result in any direct way. Equally sure, our hot and cold fluctuations over the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations must be viewed as unnecessarily prolonging the instability in Iraq and contributing to the continuing consequences of that instability.
First, America had to grapple with the 'storm Area 51' raid. Now black helicopters are hovering ominously over Washington, D.C.
Bloomberg's Tony Capaccio
first reported on Monday that the Army has requested $1.55 million for a classified mission involving 10 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and a “Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility" at Fort Belvoir, Va.
In a not-so-veiled threat to the Taliban, President Donald Trump argued on Monday the United States has the capacity to bring a swift end to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan, but he is seeking a different solution to avoid killing "10 million people."
"I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth," Trump said on Monday at the White House. "It would be gone. It would be over in – literally in 10 days. And I don't want to do that. I don't want to go that route."
The seizure of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is the latest example of how tensions between the U.S. and Iran have spilled into one of the world's most strategic and vital waterways for oil. Since May, Iran has been accused of harassing and attacking oil tankers in the strait.
As the British government continues to investigate Friday's seizure, experts worry that it raises the potential of a military clash. However, they also say it offers a lens into Iran's strategy toward the U.S.
Here is a look at what's been happening and why the Strait of Hormuz matters.