‘The result could be an Aleppo-style quagmire,’ warned a former U.S. army officer who believes that the efforts of U.S.-backed Iraqi forces to retake Mosul from ISIS could provoke a civil war.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Pentagon is demanding 500 more troops be sent to Iraq, but foreign policy experts have warned that continued U.S. involvement in the region could provoke a new civil war.
Dr. Ron Paul, a former congressman and two-time Republican presidential candidate, expressed his concerns about future instability in the Middle East during a live discussion broadcast on Thursday via YouTube by the Ron Paul Liberty Report.
“The only way anybody could conceive of a mission being accomplished and endorse this policy is somebody could be thriving on chaos, because chaos seems to be winning,” said Paul.
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal’s Gordon Lubold and Paul Sonne reported that the new troops, “if approved by the White House, would assist Iraqi and coalition forces in preparing for the battle” to retake Mosul, a northern Iraqi city currently occupied by Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the terrorist organization commonly known in the West as ISIS or ISIL).
“We’re re-invading, and I don’t think the outcome looks too optimistic.” – Ron Paul
Lubold and Sonne noted that these troops would bring the total number of U.S. forces deployed in Iraq to 6,400.
“The 500 would be in addition to roughly 400 new personnel the U.S. sent to Iraq in early September to prepare for the Mosul offensive,” they added.
Paul suggested the Pentagon refers to these troops as noncombatants to keep the American public from protesting the presence of boots on the ground in Iraq, but that distinction is ultimately “nonsense.”
“We’re re-invading, and I don’t think the outcome looks too optimistic,” he said.
In the process, Paul suggested the United States is recreating some of the factors, including frequent bombing of Iraq, which led to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
In May and June, U.S.-backed Iraqi forces carried out an extended campaign to retake the city of Fallujah, and supporters of the Obama administration have touted this as a sign that the U.S. strategy against Daesh is succeeding.
Paul cast doubt on this assessment, saying: “I imagine Fallujah is still a mess. I mean, how many times have the bombs fell over there? How many times have we fought over Fallujah?”
Plans to retake Mosul would also be “a mess,” he suggested, adding: “Our efforts in Iraq have been a total failure. We have lost.”
In a Sept. 17 report for Politico, Daniel L. Davis, a retired U.S. Army colonel, who served in multiple tours of Afghanistan, warned that the Iraqi coalition faces a difficult battle to retake Mosul, with as many as 20,000 Daesh fighters in the area. And while success is by no means assured, winning the battle could actually lead to even more regional instability and a potential Iraqi civil war.
“The result could be an Aleppo-style quagmire,” Davis wrote.
“From my interviews with senior government officials, military generals, regional experts, displaced persons from increasingly crowded refugee camps, it became clear to me that winning the fight for Mosul for the anti-ISIS side is hardly assured, and even if ISIS is eventually eradicated, the absence of a unifying enemy might release pent up animosities and hatreds among current allies. This could potentially unleash an even greater bloodbath in Iraq than that wrought by ISIS.”
Watch “Mission Accomplished? More US Troops To Iraq” from Ron Paul Liberty Report: