Should the U.S. send troops back to Iraq to fight ISIS?

“This month, the Iraqi government launched an offensive against Islamic State fighters in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit. Some 30,000 troops, two-thirds of which are members of Shiite militias guided by Iranian advisers, moved against a jihadist force estimated by the United States to number a few hundred,” writes Gary Anderson, a retired Marine Corps colonel, in the Washington Post.

The United States and its vaunted air power were not invited to the party. From the start, many observers assumed the success of the operation was a given, with news coverage focused less on whether Tikrit would fall and more on how victorious Shiite fighters would treat the city’s Sunni population.

But a funny thing happened on the way to this Iranian-led walkover. Tikrit still hasn’t fallen. Coffins carrying the bodies of Shiite militia members are being sent home in unexpected numbers, and regular Iraqi soldiers are showing a reluctance to fight in urban terrain against the tough light infantry of the Islamic State. That has surprised no one who worked and fought with the Iraqis in the past.

Today’s Question: Should the U.S. send troops back to Iraq to fight ISIS?

  • Rosario

    Not only no, but hell no. We screwed it up the first time and will not make it better by doubling down.

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    No, and make sure that any US resident who travels over there to join ISIS never comes back. In all reality, the artificial boundaries that western nations imposed on the Middle East at the end of WW1 should be redrawn to take into account traditional sectarian territories.

  • kevins

    Nope, because of the reasons stated below.

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  • whitedoggie44

    70% of all armed conflicts in the world in 2014, were wars involving muslims. In 2013, there were 12000 terrorist attacks worldwide, the vast majority carried out by muslims. Islam, is not a religion of peace.

    • David P.

      Not according to the FBI, NSA, the US News and World Report, research published by the University of North Carolina or START, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). (2012). Global Terrorism Database, as retrieved from u
      The START Global Terrorism Database spans from 1970 through 2012 (with annual updates) and documents over 104,000 terrorist incidents. It is the most comprehensive open-source database open to the public.

      These resources document that nearly 90% of religious based terrorism events and killings are perpetrated by Christian extremists, 6% by Jewish and 3% by Muslim.
      Indeed, you are far more likely to be killed by a gun in the hand of someone you know or by a drunk driver than by a terrorist, Muslim or otherwise.

      • whitedoggie44

        147 innocent civilians murdered by Muslims in Kenya. Feeling better now?

  • whitedoggie44

    Your facts may be correct but I retireive from Rand Corp for 2013 and 2014 based on both currents wars and terrorists acts. Your last comment has no material connection to the issue of wars and terrorism.

    • David P.

      My last comment simply points out the disproportionate use of resources and concern compared to the actual threat. It seems to me that we should invest our defense and safety resources in proportion to the actual danger various threats pose.

      That said, in answer to the original TQ, assuming the safety of our citizens is the primary issue, then no, we should not invest our soldiers in a war on ISIS.

  • Rich in Duluth

    No, the Iraqis should figure out their own problems. The U.S. should be using diplomacy to cut off the flow of arms to the area and to promote economic sanctions in the areas ISIS holds.

  • Gary F

    No, the military has little faith in our Commander in Chief.

    • Tired of Moronic Right Wingers

      Given that this mess is George Bush’s fault this is a BS comment Gary. And irrelevant too.

      • Gary F

        The Bowe Bergdahl fiasco really was the last straw for many in the military. There are talks that he may get an HONORABLE discharge.

        The Commander in Chief is right now in negotiations with one of the major players of Islamic terrorism right now and giving them the store.

        The Commander in Chief hates the only country in the Middle East that doesn’t persecute homosexuals.

        I don’t want this man leading any new military ventures.

        • Gordon near Two Harbors

          Obama hates Israel? I doubt it. Sometimes your best friends have to sober you up. Israel won’t be here in 50 to 100 years due to demographic trends within its own borders–not to mention its external threats.

      • whitedoggie44

        Yes, everything is W’s fault you moron

    • Ulysses Tennyson

      They had too much faith in the figurehead CINC and the de facto one, Richard Bruce Cheney in 2003 when the unnecessary and disastrous invasion of Iraq came as the result of deception and the exploitation of groundless war hysteria on the part of the CINC and his profiteering allies. The current situation in the Middle East is the direct result of the choices made by George Walker Bush and the supine Congress which let him get away with what may well have been the worst foreigns relations blunder in US history, leading to the deaths and dislocation of hundreds of thousands and to continuing turmoil in the region. The hyperpatriots of 2003 are now the disloyal carpers who have striven unceasingly to undermine a Commander in Chief who happens to have a darker complexion and a more moderate political philosophy then theirs. Unlike true patriots, they have never accepted the judgment of the American people when they twice chose Barack Hussein Obama to be their leader. There can be little doubt that they have no real understanding of the spirit of democracy and are instead the heirs of the defenders of slavery who rejected the choice of the American people in 1860 and of the defenders of segregation who opposed the second (and still-incomplete) opening of freedom for African-Americans in the 1960s. They stand not for the Constitution, as they claim so interminably, but for the maintenance of hierarchies racial, economic, ideological and national and for all their talk of freedom would readily exchange that of others for authoritarian rule so long as it was in the hands of ultraconservative spoilers whose views were as narrow and intolerant as their own.

      • John Dilligaf

        Or, perhaps, they were finally awakened by the maniacal screams of those on the left during the Bush/Cheney years, and have an impossible time reconciling that with those same people fully embracing an authority figure doubling down on the same actions merely because he has the same stripes on his jacket as theirs.

  • Jim G

    At this time, the last thing I want to see is additional American soldiers killed and injured. The immediate threat of an Iraqi military rout is receding. In my opinion, the Iraqi factions need to earn their bona fides if we are ever to add US brigade fighting forces again.

  • PaulJ

    I suppose if they are the same Sunnis who fled to Syria during Iraq II, we’d better make sure they have no WMDs. If they are so much like hostage holding gangsters that we can’t drone them to death, troops wouldn’t do any better; you have to infiltrate that type of organization to defeat it, and some 6′ 2′ Ranger named Jim Swanson might not be the man for that job.