Over the past 12 years, our benevolent leaders handed some 3,000 heavily-armored Humvees over to the Iraqi security forces in an effort to help them maintain order in the country ravaged by sectarian violence thanks to destabilization.
But as the Islamic State began making more noise over the past few years, we’ve learned a couple things about the Iraqi peacekeepers.
We didn’t do a very good job training them.
And as a result, sometimes when they’re faced with a fight they drop everything and head in the other direction.
That makes it pretty easy for ISIS militants to get their hands on some of the very goodies American taxpayers paid to send over to keep their brand of extremism at bay.
Foreign Policy recently reported:
Humvees were some of the 30 vehicles converted into mobile suicide bombs that the Islamic State used to blast through Iraqi security forces’ defenses during its three-day conquest of Ramadi in mid-May. The militants also used an armored bulldozer and at least one U.S.-made M113 armored personnel carrier. There’s a simple reason the militants are using Humvees and other armored vehicles as rolling bombs: Their protective armored plating prevents defenders from killing the trucks’ drivers before the militants can detonate their loads, while the vehicles’ capacity to carry enormous amounts of weight means the Islamic State can sometimes pack in a ton of explosives. Some of the bombs used in Ramadi contained the explosive force of the deadly Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that devastated a federal office building and killed 168 people.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, mind you. It’s happening in every area U.S. military interventionism has taken place in recent history.
Iraq is one of the most frustrating examples, however, considering that the U.S. government insists on routing all anti-ISIS military aid through the massively corrupt and embarrassingly inept Iraqi government with seeming disregard for the result. To look at a map of ISIS-controlled areas of Iraq, it appears as though the government is handing territory (and weapons) over as fast as possible.
Meanwhile, the Kurdish Peshmerga is doing a damn good job of beating back ISIS advances wherever it can– but the force is doing so at a hefty cost.
“Today Kurdistan is fighting terrorism with Peshmerga boots on the ground in a war front of more than 100 kilometers, with more than 1,300 Peshmerga murdered and more than 6,000 wounded since the beginning of the conflict,” Kurdistan Planning Minister Ali Sindi told the European Parliament recently in an appeal for help.
He was talking to European leaders because the U.S. State Department refuses to recognize Kurdistan (a massively pro-western region) as legitimate and insists it can’t directly arm Peshmerga forces, telling its leaders to appeal to Iraq for U.S. military swag.
That’s very dumb.
Mustafa Sayid Qadir, the minister of Peshmerga affairs, explained why late last year in an interview with The Wall Street Journal: “[ISIS] target us with weapons that were abandoned in Ramadi. Wouldn’t it have been better if the Iraqi army had given them to us instead of giving them to ISIS?”
The answer is “yes.” But only for his forces and anyone who would like to see relative stability and an end to ISIS control in the region any time in the near future. For the American defense contractors who get to replace all those exploded Hummers and the government officials they lobby, the current shitshow is just fine.