Missouri’s members of the Senate Armed Services Committee consider whether, or how much, this country should re-involve itself in Iraq.
Senior Senator Claire McCaskill says “ingrained sectarian conflict” among the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds makes the situation complicated for the United States. She says Iraqui President Nouri al-Maliki and the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, are both Shiite. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, is Sunni. She says re-involvement by this country in Iraq would put the United States on the side of Iran, at the same time it opposes the regime in Syria that Iran supports.
McCaskill thinks the situation calls for prudence. “One of the things we’ve got to do is to make sure we have the intelligence before we act and I think that is exactly what the military leadership is engaged in right now,” she says. McCaskill expects a briefing in a few days.
Senator Blunt, who has opposed the American troop pullout from Iraq, is in the position of saying “I told you so,” noting that he had warned “not leaving some sort of stabilizing force in Iraq would lead to exactly to this kind of religious breakdown and infighting.” He worries the same situation will happen in Afghanistan if President Obama goes through with his announced pullout there. He hopes events in Iraq persuade him to change his mind.
Blunt says the importance of maintaining a stabilizing force is proven in South Korea and in Bosnia. He says Bosnia would have fallen back into ethnic infighting.