Florida Republican Questions Middle East Stability
By Dell Hill
Just when you think of a question you’d like to ask or there’s a comment you’d like to make, it seems that Congressman Allen West (R-Fl) steps up to the podium and makes that comment or asks that question.
In a Friday Email to constituents and the media, West released this statement regarding President Barack Obama’s withdrawal of troops from Iraq:
Congressman Allen West (FL-22) released this statement today:
“Today, the President announced the withdrawal of all combat forces from Iraq by the end of the year. As a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who served during the initial battles of this conflict, I am proud to be among the more than one million Americans who served in Iraq. What my fellow comrades in arms achieved in Iraq is nothing short of historic. Together, we defeated one of history’s most tyrannical dictatorships and replaced it with a free and democratic government. American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines fought and defeated a radical Islamic insurgency, and helped create an ally and partner in freedom.
I will never forget those who I served with, and those who served after I left. I will never forget the sacrifice borne by so many of our service members and their families.
However, I must question the motives of President Barack Obama for this sudden announcement. Why now? Did the President consult with any of our American Generals on the ground before making this decision? What kind of message will this send to our allies, the Kurds, in the Northern part of Iraq, and will they feel abandoned? My fear is that political expediency drove this decision, not recommendations by the Military’s leadership.
Much is at stake and many questions are yet to be answered. I fear that our President is acting as “Campaigner in Chief” rather than “Commander in Chief,” thus putting the entire Middle East at risk.
Right now, the American people deserve answers.”
Many are asking the very same questions and more than a few military types have openly questioned the issue of stabilization, once American muscle has left the area.
I think what Congressman West is looking for here are assurances that our allies in the immediate area aren’t suddenly thrust into a situation similar to Egypt, where recognized terror groups simply move in and take over huge chunks of territory and the Middle East winds up with a few more “Gaza” situations.
The Kurds, most especially, will be on edge with the Americans leaving. It would not be the first time that the United States has left them high and dry against military threats from Turkey and Iran. Those countries have never lived in peace and only the American presence close by has protected the Kurds.
The American superiority in the air - especially in the no-fly zone over the northern half of Iraq - has kept most of the aggressors at bay. It would seem highly unlikely that the President will leave any of that air power in place, but he didn’t elaborate or give any specifics along those lines today.
When it comes to the military, Lt. Col. Allen West (Retired)
knows whereof he speaks.