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McCaffrey: “Muddled Thinking” on Iraq

Gen. Barry McCaffrey, like me, wonders what the plan is in Iraq and seems to recognize that, in fact, there is none.

And so, he wonders, following the food drops, what happens when the Iraqis trapped on the mountain by ISIS finish the food?

McCaffrey appeared with an equally skeptical Chuck Todd of MSNBC:

These are political gestures using military power . . . It looks to me like a lot of this is internal U.S. politics to show we’re doing something.

I mean, if you want to use military power, you have to write down your objective and then use decisive force to achieve your objectives. So I’m a little dismayed at what we’re up to here.

Right. Why must we keep learning the lesson of Vietnam over and over again?

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53 Responses to McCaffrey: “Muddled Thinking” on Iraq

  1. Baraq Obama (college lecturer by trade) is as much of an expert in the area of warfare and diplomacy as was Heinrich Himmler (farmer by trade) in the area of genetics. Yet both were put in charge of their national policy in those areas.

    • Anytime I hear the words “Obama” & “US National Security” I get sick.

      …I am a USN Vet, who loves history-politics & follows current events from all over, and I know & care more about current “US National Security” & “International Affairs” than ANYONE in this Obama regime…

    • Little known fact: Obama never applied for tenure b/c he was told by a couple of professors that he would never make the grade. As I recall, he was only a part-time lecturer. Not really sure. Also, I believe the IL state legislature was part-time also.

  2. It will do nothing for the safety of Christians and others fleeing ISIL, if Obama does not kill ISIL. Dropping some food, water and a few bombs then leaving is not doing the job completely. While I don’t wish any more American lives wasted, ISIL and fanatical Muslims must be wiped out, wherever they are. I don’t trust the Obama regime to do the job, these are the same people who trash Bush daily. Bush left them a fairly stable Iraq and look what Obama did. All those American and coalition lives lost, for what? Obama just now reads about all these Christians being slaughtered and decides something must be done. Why now? Why so late? The same thing is happening in Africa. Suddenly he awakens from some sort of sleep?

    What happens with Russia and China while our military is involved with Iraq and Afghanistan? What about Ukraine? What about OUR border and who is getting in unseen? Will Obama still take his vacation? What about Congress? Obama cares nothing for America, our citizens and even less for our military. I don’t see anything getting better soon.

  3. Although I was fairly young during Viet Nam,I was always struck as to why with all the US might,we couldn’t just win that war. Instead it just went on for years. Did we not put forth all that we could and held back resources? Is this what we have to look forward to with not only Iraq but Afghanistan too? I would imagine our weaponry is much more sophisticated these days,why can’t we just blow this group away? Am I being overly simplistic?
    I don’t see how just a few bombs are going to stop anything. These guys need to be taken out completely.

    • Inever get what “winning” these distant wars means–wipe out part of a country’s population so it can never regrow? Wipe out enough to convince them to never regrow (Germany, Japan)? The Taliban live there–we don’t–they are going to be in Afghanistan. Don’t fight if you can’t win seems so meaningless to me–it sounds good and obvious, but what does it mean?

    • blondie,

      The US “Special Forces” did a good job in Vietnam in the early days as a ‘counter-insurgency campagin’ (like the British SAS did in Malaysia in the 1950s)
      But after a few years in the mid to late 1960s we (USA) should have gone on massive carpet bombing to break the will of North Vietnam… Maybe the US could have avoided ‘Tet’ and the spiral of US military losses that led to our withdrawl & defeat from 1972-1975.

  4. Fight to win or don’t fight at all. To say this is strictly humanitarian and defensive to protect is naive. But when your entire life is built on deceit and illusion ….

    Pray for the military.

      • Works for me.

        On deck for me,is a serious look at our training the military in Iraq and Afghanistan to defend themselves. Then they don’t fight — Iraq or they turn on our military that trained them.

        That said, this effort by Obama is weak. We should have aggressive targeted bombing–not prissy pinpricks– and we should be really supporting the Kurds. Not Baghdad. Not happening. Obama is routing to Kurds through Baghdad — they never get it.Obama deference to Iraqi government in the face of genocide and at the expense of an ally willing to fight.

  5. The opportunity was missed when ISIS was traveling toward their targets.
    They could have been wiped out while on the road easily.
    The hesitation of taking action created this situation.

  6. The newsman said: This is not a RAGTAG BUNCH.
    That was a stupid comment. Does he remember the little bunch that attack us on 911? It was not an army of men.
    I think all vacations, and fund raisers should be called off for quite some time. He was not elected to eat hamburgers around the Country.
    He needs to get a grip on handling foreign affairs for our best interest.
    The border needs to be secure. No if ands or buts.

  7. I wonder if the White House will have to “approve” target lists (like LBJ). VarJar with all her military knowledge would be a perfect choice!!!

  8. BTW As a retired attack carrier dude…….that is one long, very long haul to drop a few bombs(no station time). The mission can only be done with the help of our AF tanker bubbas.

    • Please explain. Station time. Does that mean somewhere to stop in between?
      I just looked up AF tanker bubbas. It had refueling, so I assume that is what you mean. No refueling tanks to stop at.
      Correct?

      • ‘Station time’ means time over the target area.
        Problem is, it takes so much fuel to get there, make the run, and then get home, they cannot afford to loiter over the target.
        The tankers are there to give them enough gas to complete the mission.

    • one more thing…this is the Anniversary of “Tonkin Gulf” (Ltjg Alvarez got to spend eight years in prison….at least he was not beheaded……like any of our pilots that get shot down in
      Barry’s War)

    • rexbob,
      Being a USN Vet (and wannabe Airdale) I was also wondering that; send some F/A-18s from a CVN in the Persian Gulf all the way upto N. Iraq to drop some 500/1000lbs…
      They had to tank with AF guys flying out of Kuwait…

  9. John King (CNN) lamented that Obama ‘told us what he wouldn’t do (boots on the ground) but he didn’t tell us what he would do”.

    It’s the first time in my memory that Obama has uttered the “C” word, other than to refer to his ‘Christian faith’. But Harris Faulkner (Outnumbered) pointed out his careful wording last night. He mentioned a word we have never heard before. ‘Izitis’. He never mentioned Christian women being slaughtered but went into great detail about the Iziti women being murdered and enslaved.

    Kirsten Powers (Outnumbered) then exploded on how there have been hundreds of thousands of Christians driven out of the whole area, including Mosul, over the last few months and he has never uttered the word ‘Christian’…not once. And then last night he suddenly threw the “C” word in with the ‘Izitis’. We aren’t doing any air drops for the Christians, she continued. Congressman Walsh has pleaded at least 7 times in the last months to help the Christians, but the WH remained silent until last night. But it was primarily about the Iziti women. Powers also angrily remarked that Obama has ‘no right’ to invoke ‘humanitarian’ reasons….b/c he is not a humanitarian. He stood by and didn’t say a word for months.

    At least Obama is catching h*ll from some of his staunchest supporters, if that is any consolation. He is a miserable failure and we are paying the price. His own words on genocide are coming back to haunt him. Eventually, all of his words will be thrown in his face. He deserves nothing less.

    • . . . Pleased to meet you . . . hope you guess my name . . .
      But what’s puzzlin’ you is the nature of my game . . .

      M. Jagger / K. Richards

      • She recently converted to Christianity. A big leap for a liberal. But she has been a good defender.

        And here I am really weak but I believe she is married to a man of Middle Eastern heritage — perhaps Egyptian. This allows the possibility that perhaps she is more sympathetic to Orthodox or Coptic Christians — but I really don’t know.

        She talked quite a bit about her conversion — so I give her points for defending Christians since then. She has been pretty strong. I would have liked to have heard her call out Obama as not humanitarian.

  10. OT
    Isis takes hundreds of Yazidi woman captive. Fox news.

    AFVet made a comment at 12:21 that the opportunity was missed when ISIS was moving towards their target.
    This is such a terrible screw up. Years of screw ups. However be pleased and comforted he is still going on vacation.

  11. A HEADLINE I’VE READ:
    Friday, August 9, 1974
    Richard Milhous Nixon announced last night that he will resign as the 37th President of the United States at noon today.

    A HEADLINE I WANT TO READ:
    Friday, August 8, 2014
    Barack Hussein Obama – “ditto”

    • Thanks for the article.
      Great word used: Adamant.
      Great comparison: Neville Chamberlain.

      I keep getting knocked off the site. With a page Internet cannot display this page. Sometimes while doing that, my comment still appears. Sometimes it disappears, and have to re-type it. Has anyone else dealt with this. It has gone on for over week 1/2?

  12. Is anyone else sick of being told that the American people are “war-weary”? It’s a mantra among the media, being shoved down our collective throat. If we had a real leader who could explain the rationale for destroying ISIS, I think the American people could easily get behind the idea of WINNING that war. Am I wrong?

    • I am more O-weary. In other words as stated here many times. Keith and fellow readers have better ideas, methods, plans that could have been used, taken, stated, by him.
      As I just read in Allen West article, he is now taking the Neville Chamberlain approach. He keeps letting go military personel.

  13. Obama was never a “professor” in the traditional sense of the word. He was an adjunct instructor, and the UChicago eventually gave him the title of “adjunct professor”. The issue of tenure never came up in that capacity, though he was interested in a full time job there, and the possibility of being given tenure in that capacity was an issue. He was a part-timer, teaching essentially two courses to first year law students–1.Alinsky tactics, and 2. an odd course dealing how unfair the US Constitution was to Blacks in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Valerie Jarrett, when she was Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees had a huge hand in brining Obama into the teaching staff at UChicago.

    • This was a reply to Girly1’s comment on Obama’s tenure at UChicago way up at the begining of the thread. My comments are showing up in all the wrong places lately, making them sound like the random ravings of an idiot. Someone needs to stop throwing water on the gremlins. ;+}