Baby, Come Back

The Associated Press is reporting that, unable to manage their own internal security problems and with the casualty count rising, Iraqi officials are wondering if, possibly, the Americans would return and lend a hand:

Faced with security crises across the Mideast, North Africa and Asia, the White House largely has turned its attention away from Iraq since U.S. forces left in 2011. But the country has been hit with deadly bombings at a rate reminiscent of Iraq’s darkest days, stoking new fears of a civil war. More than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in terror-related attacks in July, the deadliest month since 2008.

The violence has spurred Baghdad to seek new U.S. aid to curb the threat, said Iraqi Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. He said a U.S. assistance package could include a limited number of advisers, intelligence analysis and surveillance assets – including lethal drones.

“There is greater realization in the Iraq government that we should not shy away from coming and asking for some help and assistance,” Zebari told reporters Friday in Washington.

He described U.S. interest in Iraq after the 2011 troop withdrawal as “indifferent, completely” but said that seemed to shift as the White House realized al-Qaida’s resurrection there.

“Recently I noticed, and during this visit specifically, there is a renewed interest because of the seriousness of the situation and the challenges,” Zebari said. “I think that is because of the threat of terrorism, the threat of the renewal of al-Qaida and its affiliates has become a serious, serious concern to the U.S.”

Complete American withdrawal from Iraq was negotiated back in 2008 when Iraqis were unwilling to agree to a status of forces agreement with the United States that would shield American soldiers from prosecution under Iraqi law. Is a favorable SOFA more likely now than it was five years ago?

IMO barring a catastrophic collapse in Iraq and, possibly, even in the face of one, returning American forces to Iraq politically would be very difficult if not impossible. We’ve moved on from Iraq and faced an additional five years of mounting casualties in Afghanistan. How interested are we in being a whipping boy for the Iraqis?

FILED UNDER: Africa, Middle East, Terrorism, , , , , ,
Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. Tony W says:

    How interested are we in being a whipping boy for the Iraqis?

    How much money do they have? Seems like we are in a strong negotiating position….

  2. Mark Ivey says:

    Talk to the Iranians or the Chinese….

  3. bill says:

    some people can’t handle “democracy”, for whatever reason.

  4. DC Loser says:

    I wouldn’t rule this out completely. If we can get a SOFA from Baghdad, we can maintain a regional military presence to act as a quick reaction force for regional crisis (Syria next door), and to have political leverage to check Iranian influence in Iraq.

    Not that I’m in favor of it, but can I see the cost-benefit discussion that may be going on.

  5. Tyrell says:

    How about some private force? Or maybe the US could send in advisors?

  6. ratufa says:

    What is causing the increased violence? A cynical person might think that it’s caused by a political failure to work out a power-sharing agreement between the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, with the (non-Kurd) Sunnis getting the short end of the stick. And, now, some Shiites and Kurds want us back in Iraq to keep the Sunnis in-line, so they’re talking up the idea that Al-Qaeda is behind the violence. Or, perhaps this is just being floated as a threat to the Sunnis (i.e. “keep this up and we’ll invite the US back”).

  7. Dave Schuler says:

    @DC Loser:

    I can see the discussion going on. I can’t see how the Obama Admnistration, a Clinton Administration, or a hypothetical Republican administration has the political ability to do it.

  8. rudderpedals says:

    “It’s a trap” — ADM Akbar

  9. steve says:

    Let them hire the current version of Blackwater. They were very popular there in the past.


  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Boy, I sure am glad that surge thing was so successful. Otherwise all those Soldiers and Marines would have died for nothing.

  11. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    some people can’t handle “democracy”, for whatever reason.

    Americans in the year 2013 are not in a really strong position to give pious lectures about democracy.

  12. Tony W says:

    @anjin-san: Indeed. Mr. Bush, and Mr. Obama after him have not demonstrated what I consider to be American values with regard to human rights and war mongering.

  13. bill says:

    @anjin-san: especially since ’08, glad we agree on something.

  14. An Interested Party says:

    especially since ’08, glad we agree on something.

    Umm, sorry to burst your bubble, sweetie, but what Anjin wrote has been true of this country since long before 2008…

  15. bill says:

    @An Interested Party: and 5 yrs in, what’s obama done about it…..sweetie? i mean, aside from point fingers? don’t bother answering, we all know.
    and now he’s showing off his grammar” lessins” …., as if his geography lesson from 2 weeks back wasn’t already stellar!

    Barack Obama ✔ @BarackObama

    “More than 57,000 pre-K children are feeling the affects of the sequester”

    Brilliant, he can blame whatever ‘tard he let’s do his tweets i guess.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    and 5 yrs in, what’s obama done about it…..sweetie?

    Oh my, who could have guessed that the President could just wave a magic wand and change anything he wants…perhaps you took that hope and change talk far too seriously, sweetie…as for grammar lessons, he certainly could do no worse than his not so illustrious predecessor…