Shortly after Iraq’s Parliament voted unanimously (absent the presence of Sunni and Kurd members) to expel U.S. Forces from Iraq, Senator Marco Rubio tweeted the following:
Maybe it’s time for a fully independent #Kurdistan in what is currently Northern #Iraq?
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 5, 2020
Of course, in a typical knee jerk reaction, the leftists jumped all over him, spouting their usual drivel, most of which centered around our alleged “abandonment of our Kurdish allies.” I’ve previously addressed those fact bereft assertions in a series of articles on the Turkey-Syria-Iraq, Kurdish question.
Given the current situation, Senator Rubio may be on to something. First of all, this has been a rapidly accelerating sequence of events. That sequence started with newly inaugurated President Trump directing the senior leadership of the military to begin planning for a withdrawal of U.S. forces, then operating illegally on Syrian soil.
As I outlined in the articles listed above, the senior leadership slow walked the President’s directive, resulting in a somewhat more “directed” directive to begin movement of our troops out of Syria…immediately. Of course there was the expected wailing and gnashing of teeth from the left and more than a few Obama holdovers, both civilian and military.
Chief among the cries, was the trope, “We are abandoning our staunch allies, the Kurds! No one will ever trust us again!” I also explained why that was garbage in my Syria series. While all of this was going on, Iran, through its Kuds force, essentially a terrorist group in uniform was still fomenting Iraqi Shia militia attacks on U.S. installations and personnel, while of course infiltrating the Iraqi government.
This all came to a head, when the Kuds directed militias attacked a U.S. installation and killed a civilian contractor and wounded several U.S. military members. President Trump responded by terminating with extreme prejudice, several militia members. This in turn was followed by a “spontaneous protest” by “ordinary Iraqis” who managed to breach the outer perimeter of the United States Embassy.
President Trump, not one to take such an act of war and affront to U.S. sovereignty lying down, immediately dispatched U.S. Marines to reinforce the Embassy security force and followed that up by deploying a battalion from the 82nd Airborne Division’s Ready Force. Those two actions however, were defensive in nature.
The next step proves that we now have a no kiddin’ Commander In Chief. President Trump ordered a drone strike on the Commander of the Kuds force as he departed Baghdad airport in an SUV. Whatever is left of that monster who was responsible for killing and maiming my beloved Soldiers in 2006-2007, is now at ambient temperature. Good.
The Iranian-stooge dominated Iraqi Parliament immediately passed a non-binding resolution calling for the expulsion of U.S. Forces. This is where as some folks put it, a “chance of the decade” comes in. As David Webb elaborated on his first morning show of the new year, the Kurds have been desirous of a homeland of their own for decades.
The Iraqi Kurds now have a semi-autonomous region in Northern Iraq, but still owe allegiance to Baghdad. These Kurds are not only truly U.S. allies in the region, but they maintain friendly relations with Turkey. Contrary to the naysayers, they were never a target of Turkey in this Syrian debacle. Interesting side note: The Kurdish enclave in Iraq has become somewhat of a safe space for Christians, who as a persecuted minority, have often supported and been supported by the Kurds.
As Webb said, this opens up some interesting opportunities. If we could somehow sponsor a fully independent Kurdish territory in Northern Iraq, such territory could easily contain the forward basing we need for rapid response in the area, without being continually embroiled in the constant turmoil in the greater region. A goodly portion of our military facilities are already there and we just broke ground on a new consulate in Erbil
The risks of doing this versus totally abandoning a footprint in Iraq or worse, having to rely on the demonstrated (dis) loyalty of Iraqi Armed Forces when it comes to defending U.S. facilities and personnel, make this an idea worth considering. The Iraqi Kurds have proven to be reliable partners in combat and they have a long standing affection for the United States, stemming from protection we provided from air attacks by Saddam Hussein.
This is just an initial thought that needs to be fleshed out. I’d love to hear your commentary. Could this get legs? Or, do I need to put away the scotch for awhile?
David Webb is on Sirius Patriot 125 M-F 9-12 AM EST
Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.
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