Iraq Disintegrating... Let it!
Washington has elected to send mercenaries in to assist 2 or 300 military advisers to keep a disintegrating central puppet government installed that regularly retreats in the field leaving behind millions of dollars in US arms for IS, ISIS, or ISIL(whatever they're going by today. This should be an indication that, not unlike Vietnam, this struggle is already a foregone conclusion, Iraq, in its current state cannot stay together, and that attempting to privatize, all or some, the effort is not going to turn it into anything different.
ISIS, at one time, was just another among the many insurgent groups within a confederacy of opposition to US occupation of Iraq. During that time they were small and employed hit and run tactics like the Mujiadeen or Al-Queda, but they were never much of a threat against a full on occupation force. It was probably thought in the President's first term that the installed government in Baghdad, armed to the teeth with US munitions, would be enough to quell any opposition. That view was largely incorrect for a lot of different reasons.
Remembering history one has to hold into account that in Desert Storm where large number of elite Iraqi Republican guard, and regular forces, surrendered leaving behind weapons against our own forces. They would do so again in the 2003 invasion, so it doesn't make sense why Washington would trust $500 million in weapons with a military with no notorious a reputation. ISIS, as mentioned, is no longer a guerilla force; they have evolved into a standing army better capable of maintaining extended battle. As a result they are occupying large parts of two countries, $500 million in weapons we gave to an unreliable military, and have been able to procure, through devious methods, a considerable amount of capital - by their boasts - enough to arm and pay their soldiers for a couple of years. Throw the Kurds into the mix opting to carve out their own piece, of the oil rich country, and what we are seeing is a situation that neither Baghdad or Washington can control.
So now Washington has elected to send in military advisers and private mercenaries to act as "advisers". The numbers of mercenaries to be sent in, according to most news sources, has been estimated at 1700. This is not an advisory corp, this is battlefield support: there is few others ways one can see this if one chooses to adopt the false position that we're going back in to stabilize a "democratic government". However, one has to hold into account the "minor" fact that Iraq sits atop the second largest oilfields in the region, that Iran is all of the sudden interested in lending a hand since their ally Syria is in jeopardy, and that we are still attempting to contain Russia who has been very apt, as of late, at making Administration look rather foolish on the foreign policy front - not that they don't help out through their own deeds.
This is a simple situation that Washington needs to look at honestly and pragmatically: Asia is moving on without the American Empire. ISIS could be a stablizing force in the region if the caliphate they supposedly establishing is recognized. An independent Kurdistan should not be viewed as a negative, but rather the first steps towards a people's self determination. As far as the government in Baghdad goes, it is not equipped, or capable of keeping together a state in any sense, so supporting it is a great disservice on many levels. Moreover, America needs to understand that - whether we like it or not - Asia is developing "Spheres of Influence" of their own. They are interested in being masters of their own destiny, and part of that includes controlling their own resources and sovereignty. In short, they're not concerned maintaining our civilization's privileged position - or "exceptionalism" - but rather benefiting from their own wealth.
Washington would be better off, from a diplomatic position, to encourage this. At some point if Exxon looses contracts in the Crimea to Gazpron over a popular referendum, Dutch Royal Shell has to deal honestly with the population of Nigeria, or oilfields of Iraq gets divided among three new countries, we need to understand that that is the price of doing business, and so it is incumbent upon American oil companies to protect their own interests with diplomacy instead of relying on the US government and military. This would require every entity to engage in the brave act of actually living up to our rhetoric rather than rather than it being the meaningless facade we use to try to cover up an, often times, reprehensible duplicity. It should also include discouraging the use of private military entities not governed by international rules of military conduct.
- Robert Montgomerie