American Foreign Policy in Iraq: Nothing New Under the Sun

June 21, 2014 — It has been said that there is “nothing new under the sun.” Nor is there anything new with American foreign policy in Iraq. The president has just announced a “new” policy for that country admitting that all the government’s efforts over the past 11 years have failed. But in reality what he has announced is not new at all, but just a continuation of a failed policy that both Democrats and Republicans have been following for years. Although a victory in Iraq has been declared on two occasions, we once again are resuming and expanding our military presence in Iraq. As ISIS, the radical Islamists, march on Baghdad, the the shaky status quo has turned into a major international crisis. 

The positive spin the president is putting on his recently announced policy will not fool the American people. One point that the president strongly makes is that he will not place combat troops back in Iraq—no boots on the ground. Of course, he’s already admitted ordering 500 military personnel back into Iraq. I wonder what they’re going to be doing with their boots!


Making an effort to keep American troops out of harms way is a worthy goal, but it doesn’t solve the problem of the unintended consequences in the blowback that inevitably comes our foreign interventions. Just the arrogance of our largest embassy ever in Baghdad is a problem for many Iraqis, and helps recruit Iraqis to participate in violence against Americans.

The president now talks about an “inclusive political process.” It’s just a little bit late for this effort—something that should’ve been done a long time ago. Of course it would have been much better off that a long time ago we would have resisted the temptation to get ourselves involved in such a mess.

The president offers nothing new. It is an extension of the same policy, with minor variations, endorsed by both political parties for the past 50 years or more. To expect a different outcome this time around is nonsense.

It now is being claimed that Prime Minister Maliki is responsible for all the problems and it is time for him to go. At the same time the president claims that we have no right to be involved in the electoral process in that country and yet that’s essentially all that we have been doing for the past 11 years. There’s even now talk about resurrecting Chalabi as a replacement for Maliki. This proves that many of our leaders are absolutely out of touch with reality. Whether we call the troops that we send into Iraq advisers, special forces, CIA agents, contractors, or whatever, it’s been tried before and it has failed. It is a lost cause for us to continue a policy that has proven to fail over the many decades.

Not too long ago the American people spoke out when the president proposed bombing Syria, and sent a message to Congress that it made no sense to get us involved in another war. Let me assure you that the people in Washington running our foreign-policy and all the special interests influencing our foreign-policy want to expand the war and secure the oil in this region, and have no intention of ever yielding to common sense and leaving. The only thing that can stop this is the American people once again shouting very loudly at their congressman for them to send a message to the president that he should not expand the war in Iraq and certainly not make use of bombs or drones to pursue a political goal.

Only the people through their members of Congress can put the pressure on the president to back off, which means that anybody who cares about reining in our military operation—which is about to get much more intense in the Middle East and therefore much more dangerous—must quickly and loudly send a message that the American people have had enough. Just sacrificing more life limb and dollars pursuing a failed policy does not help us in any way and it certainly doesn’t make us more secure.

Call or email your congressman today and let him know how you feel about this issue. If enough people will do this, it will have an effect.