Friday, June 12, 2015

'Toontime: Employment Opportunities in Iraq

credit: Tom Toles
Wackydoodle sez:  An doint expect to get paid nither!

Well, you can always join the Army. It looks as if they are going to need some more warm bodies as the Pentagon considers opening up more bases in Anbar Province to hold ground against the terrorist army, ISIS. The Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters in Naples that the possibility of more bases requiring more American troops is part of "prudent planning" Translation: the Puzzle Palace generals are pressuring a reluctant President to allow direct engagement of ISIS fighters by claiming self-defense. The generals have reluctantly come to the conclusion that their tranning efforts are wasted on a hopelessly corrupt Iraqi army that cannot attract enough recruits and whose number of "ghost soliders"--deserters--are in the thousands. The current training site in Anbar is located at Habbaniys, only about 15 miles from Ramadi which was recently captured by ISIS. Four hundred fifty more soldiers are on their way there now to train and assist Iraqi soldiers, if any show up. Gen. Dempsey said there is practical planning underway to expand from that base with more American soldiers into a corridor that extends from Tikrit to Kirkuk and on to Mosul. The US already spends $9 million a day fighting the terror group. Why? One reason is because the Pentagon delivers four JDAM bombs by air to take out a building seen in a selfie and posted on the internet by a stupid militant. Major victory!

So far, the Current Occupant has refused to go back on his promise not to deploy American military personnel directly in the fight against ISIS except for commando operations against specific high value targets, but the pressure is mounting on him to do more as the Iraqi government continues to demonstrate its ineptitude. The elephant in the room is that the ISIS war has become yet another sectarian conflict in Iraq, and few Sunnis want to risk their lives fighting Sunni militants. Nor do the Shias in Baghdad want to arm and enable Sunni militias that could turn their weapons against the shaky central government. Paradoxically it is exactly these Sunni tribe members the US wants to train and arm to throw against the militants in Anbar, the only Sunni-dominated province of Iraq.

This effort to include Sunni sectarians not trusted by Baghdad is a departure for US policy which has so far been focused on establishing a credible Iraq national force. Even the Kurds, who have fought successfully against the terrorists in the north, complain that Washington's military support has been underwhelming, and it is cleared with Baghdad in advance. That policy may change if ISIS continues to win. Right now, Iraq is more and more resembling the three Ottoman provinces it was before WWI. The ISIS problem, or more specifically the problem of Iraq's nationhood, is one that will await a new Current Occupant unless the generals manage to create an incident that politically will sooner require a direct US response on the ground. So US Person suggests if you enjoy hot days and hot nights camping out with your buds in a romantic desert offering lots of selfie opportunities, consider joining up so you can be all you can be! Ain't no jobs hereabouts, anyways.