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Published: Monday, 12/30/2013

EDITORIAL

No military aid to Iraq

Nearly two years after the United States supposedly ended its military involvement in Iraq, President Obama apparently has decided to provide extensive military aid to the country. It shouldn’t happen.

The aid is intended to strengthen Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s predominantly Shiite government against Sunni opponents who are bitter at having been excluded from his post-American occupation regime.

One of candidate Barack Obama’s major campaign pledges in 2008 was ending the Iraq war. When he was re-elected last year, Americans believed the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq was final.

Giving Iraq missiles and drones — and apparently, selling F-16 jet fighters later on — will mean putting U.S. military and CIA trainers back in Iraq. The boots on the ground that were supposed to be long gone would return.

There is no reason for this action, other than to provide expensive, hazardous military protection to U.S. defense contractors, which will handle the transactions.

America invaded Iraq in 2003, upended its traditional political structure to put the majority Shiites on top, and occupied the country for eight years. U.S. forces trained Iraqi troops to maintain order.

So why is Mr. Obama changing course, breaking his pledge, and involving the United States in Iraq’s internal conflicts? Enabling defense industry sales to Iraq is not a good enough reason, especially if Americans’ lives are endangered.

The military aid should not be provided. The United States should continue to permit Iraqis to work out their own problems without American involvement.



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