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Flere amerikanske og irakiske tjenestemenn sier at Obama-administrasjonen i lang tid var blitt advart om at den irakiske hæren ikke ville stå seg mot en offensiv fra ISIS og sunni-milits. Men Obama valgte ikke å foreta seg noenting.

Da Mosul falt insisterte Obamas folk på at det kom helt overraskende på dem og alle andre. Men det sier flere kilder ikke er korrekt. Obamas folk visste at noe alvorlig kunne skje. De visste det absolutt da Fallujah falt i januar.

Obamas ignorering av passivitet og deretter benektelse og late-som hans folk ikke visste, er samme modus operandi som etter stormingen av det amerikanske konsultatet i Benghazi 11. september 2012.

Amerikanerne tilgir mye, men de tilgir ikke presidenter som lyver for å dekke over sin egen inkompetanse.

Det er Eli Lake i The Daily Beast som har storyen.

Den 1. november i fjor var Nouri al-Maliki i Washington og bak lukkede dører ba han Obama om igjen å sende tropper til Irak. Så bekymret var han for fremtiden.

I lang tid hadde det haglet inn med advarsler om ISIS’ fremrykking og hvor svak den irakiske hæren var.

 

Twelve days later, Brett McGurk, a deputy assistant secretary of state and the Obama administration’s senior U.S. official in Baghdad since the crisis began last month, presented to Congress a similarly dark warning. ISIS was launching upwards of 40 suicide bombers a month, he said, encouraged in part by the weakness of Maliki’s military and the aggressively anti-Sunni policies of the Shi’ite prime minister. It was the kind of ominous report that American intelligence agencies had been delivering privately for months. McGurk added that ISIS had “benefited from a permissive operating environment due to inherent weaknesses of Iraqi security forces, poor operational tactics, and popular grievances, which remain unaddressed, among the population in Anbar and Nineweh provinces.”

Hverken al-Maliki eller McGurk ble bønnhørt. Obama synes situasjonen i Irak var for vanskelig. Det var bare bad options. Derfor foretrakk han ikke å foreta seg noe. Det er samme politikk som i Syria, eller rettere: mangel på politikk. Obama har ikke en politikk der han ikke ser noen oppside. Men det er det samme som å overlate initiativet til andre. ISIS er liksom ikke noen hvem som helst.

Samtidig som Obama avslo å sende soldater, sa han seg villig til å selge Irak avanserte våpen til den nette sum av 11 milliarder dollar. En slik handel henger ikke i hop med mangel på politikk. Det er ansvarsfraskrivelse.

Da Mosul falt, falt samtidig taket på hans egen Midtøsten-politikk ned i hodet på Obama.

Two months later, ISIS captured the strategically important city of Fallujah in Anbar province. Five month after that, Iraq’s second-largest city—Mosul, in Nineweh province—fell to ISIS and an army of Sunni insurgents. At the time, senior Obama administration officials went out of their way to proclaim just how impossible-to-predict the collapse of Mosul was. But interviews with a dozen U.S. and Iraqi intelligence officials, diplomats, and policy makers reveal a very different story. A catastrophe like the fall of Mosul wasn’t just predictable, these officials say. They repeatedly warned the Obama administration that something like this was going to happen. With seemingly no good choices to make in Iraq, the White House wasn’t able to listen.

 

Problemene var synlige allerede da USA vurderte å trekke seg ut. Flere advarte om at hæren ikke ville kunne klare seg på egen hånd, men trengte babysitting i mange år fremover.

“It’s simply not true that nobody saw a disaster like the fall of Mosul coming,” Ali Khedery, who served as a senior adviser at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, told The Daily Beast. “I can’t speak for anyone else, but I literally predicted this in verbal warnings and in writing in 2010 that Iraq would fall apart.”

“I and a zillion other people said in 2014 that we needed to do more than the very slow and inadequate reaction,” added James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq. “If [ISIS] could move in and seize Fallujah and they were on the offensive, and they were active in Mosul and Nineweh [province] too, the army was lethargic and not doing very well, at that point there was a possibility for us to provide air strikes and advisers.”

Enda mer uforståelig er det at Obama heller ikke benyttet det eneste overlegne, omkostningsfrie våpenet USA har: droner til overvåking.

As theWall Street Journal reported last month, unmanned surveillance flights over Iraq that would provide crucial overhead intelligence on areas where ISIS operated were limited to about one mission per month until about mid-June.

Nå er ting annerledes. Det flys 50 per dag, og de 300 spesialstyrkene som er på plass arbeider for å finne hvilke mål som skal rammes i tilfelle Obama gir ordren. Men ikke å benytte droner når ISIS har krysset grensen i to år, er nesten uforståelig.

Samtidig kunne amerikansk etterretning fortelle administrasjonen at den irakiske hæren gradvis var blitt svekket av al-Malikis sekteriske politikk. Det burde fått alarmklokkene til å ringe enda høyere.

Both the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency have issued reported analysis for nearly a year warning that Iraq’s military would not be able to stand up against a sustained campaign from ISIS.

“Since last year, U.S. intelligence analysts routinely highlighted the growing problems and deficiencies within the Iraqi Security Forces,” one senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast. This official said beginning in 2013, analysts routinely warned about morale problems inside the Iraqi military, what he called “leadership shortfalls” and a “steady degradation in capabilities that was making it difficult for Iraqi Security Forces to combat ISIS.” Despite this, this official stressed it was difficult to see the historic and rapid collapse of Iraqi forces in Mosul last month nonetheless.

“It could have been a surprise for the average citizen. But I do not believe to the United States government it was a surprise,” said Tariq al-Hashimi, an Iraqi vice president currently in exile in Turkey. “Everything is monitored, you can always see where ISIS is, it’s easy to trace them. I just don’t believe they were caught by surprise.”

Irak-krigen var Bushs ansvar, men tilbaketrekkingen var Obamas. Da Obama kom inn var det ikke avklart om Irak ville gi USA en såkalt Status of Forces Agreement, SOFA, som bl.a gir soldatene immunitet. Iraks regjering kunne gitt USA en avtale ved eget dekret, men USA ville at nasjonalforsamlingen skulle godkjenne en avtale. Dermed falt det hele i fisk, og Obama varslet full tilbaketrekking til tross for at flere militære og analytikere advarte om at det ville forspille dyrekjøpt innsats siden 2003.

Stuart Bowen, who was the U.S. special inspector general for Iraq, said he had serious doubts about the fitness of Iraq’s military when the last U.S. soldiers left in 2011.

«My questions about the Iraqi military in 2011 arose from concerns expressed to me by General Lloyd Austin who was then the commander of all U.S. forces in country,” he told The Daily Beast. “That year, he had to put out a number of fires in Iraq, the most serious of which arose in Kirkuk during the spring. That contentious engagement revealed the substantial tensions that existed between the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi Army, tensions that could have led to combat had the U.S. not intervened.” Bowen said that both Austin and Jeffrey “indicated to me that there would be – because there needed to be – a continuing U.S. military presence after 2011.”

Obamas problem er at han ikke ønsker å fremstå som om USA tar parti i en sekterisk krig. Men dermed blir han handlingslammet. Hvordan skal han stanse ISIS uten å fremstå nettopp som på parti med Nouri al-Malikis regjering?

Obama har ennå ikke funnet noe svar.

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/06/why-the-white-house-ignored-all-those-warnings-about-isis.html