MOSUL, IRAQ – You could call it an ISIS for Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS, has taken Mosul and is looking down the road to Baghdad.
Iraq’s prime minister al-Maliki wants to keep his head and is pleading for help from the United States.
But President Obama, who didn’t want to be in Iraq, even when he was a US senator, is only offering Maliki a laurel and hearty handshake.
“We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraq security forces.”
One of those options is to move the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush into the Persian Gulf.
In the meantime, the US will keep training Iraqi forces and selling them weapons.
But the chances are good that those weapons will end up with ISIS fighters when Iraqi soldiers cut and run.
And the president is not kidding when he says this is going to be a long-term regional problem. ISIS fighters are Sunnis. Iraq is mostly Shiites, just like Iran.
And Iran has sent about 500 Revolutionary Guard troops to fight ISIS.
Maybe that’s another reason president Obama isn’t keen on sending in US troops.
At some point they may find themselves face-to-face with the Iranians, and that’s just asking for trouble, or worse.