Thursday, June 12, 2014
US Secretly Flying Drones In Iraq
According to the Wall Street Journal, The U.S. has benn flying drones in small numbers over the areas of Iraq now occupied by ISIS. The drones are unarmed and for surveillance only..at least so far.
Someone described as a senior U.S. official was quoted as saying that the intelligence collected under the small program was shared with Iraqi forces, but added: "It's not like it did any good."
There's an understatement for you.
But with all that intelligence, the offensive by ISIS reportedly, 'caught the U.S. by surprise.'
Following the takeover of the two Iraqi cities, administration officials have asked the U.S. military and intelligence agencies to draw up options that include limited U.S. military action in Iraq, officials said.
One of the options being drawn up for the White House would expand the drone flights over Iraq, a step that could aid Iraqi forces or facilitate possible U.S. airstrikes.
"They're looking at everything and anything and have been told explicitly by the White House to think outside the box of what is possible," a senior U.S. official said.
In recent weeks, the U.S. has also stepped up planning for the possible evacuation of the American embassy in Baghdad, a U.S. official said. U.S. military officials say they don't believe an evacuation will be necessary and doubt Baghdad will fall to militant forces, but said expanded planning is prudent.
They were 'caught by surprise' by ISIS but now are saying Baghdad won't fall? Expanded planning is definitely prudent!
What will be interesting is the interaction between U.S. forces and the Iranians, whom already have units of Iran's Revolutionary Guard on the ground. And then there's the Iranian backed Shi'ite militias like Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. The Iranians, as I mentioned before are not at all pleased at their Shi'ite colony changing management,
This seems more and more like deja vu, with American troops being caught in between two sides of a religious civil war.
Based on the 'rewards' we got from intervening last time, I think we might be better off staying out of it, to say the least. Let the two sides work it out. The only people I favor arming in Iraq are the Kurds..if they're willing to be our allies after the sordid betrayals of two consecutive American administrations.