Why Washington Must Support the Kurds Directly to Defeat ISIS
The Americans, as well as the enemies of ISIS, have one real friend and reliable supporter: the 200,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters from Kurdistan and Iraq.
1000 Kurdish soldiers have died so far. Many killed because those soldiers for freedom were not equipped with strong weapons, helmets or body armour.
What are the United States of America doing to help their allies in this fight? Almost nothing!
There has been some support provided so far, but no heavy arms or other means provided to the Kurdish fighters struggling against ISIS.
The German government has sent anti-tank missiles, machine-guns and ammunition. But much more is needed.
The number one mistake of President Obama is his reluctant and lukewarm support for the Kurds, a totally wrongheaded policy approach.
The U.S. is giving necessary air support, intelligence sharing and further means to aid its allies in the region.
The Department of State officially named the shipping of 25 MRAP heavily armoured transport vehicles in October 2015, but it has refrained from going further.
The CIA works under cover. That simply is not enough to win.
Still, the White House is paralysed, looking like a rabbit to the rattle snake in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
The U.S. continues to give Baghdad a right to veto arms shipments to the Kurds.
This is a Shiite state aligned with Iran, a neighbouring nation that supports the brutal Assad regime. How can one build on relations with such a failed state?
Here, successive American administrations have looked the other way.
The country has not engaged to support the Kurds and Sunnis against the ignorance and arrogance of the Shiite government.
The Sunni tribes joined ISIS because of this ill conceived strategy.
This failed approach is the Achilles Heel of the anti-ISIS policy of Barack Obama.
It is worse than perverse: the Americans sent Baghdad all its equipment, including its tanks and equipment. And yet this equipment is now in the hands of ISIS.
Ranks of generals proved to be for sale, revealing the role to be not so much a fighting position, but rather, a prestigious business position. And yet, Washington kept calm.
What should be done?
1. America should station 5000 special forces in Kurdistan-Iraq now. It must send tanks and heavy equipment and train the Peshmergas.
2. Washington needs to re-design a federal Iraq with as much autonomy for the Kurds and Sunni tribes as possible.
3. It must stop the bombing of the PKK by NATO-partner Turkey too.
4. Weapon shipments should be redirected to Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan-Iraq.
5. Finally, a two-pronged strategy of hard and soft factors of peace-making must be implemented.
This will need to include an active reconciliation-policy in Iraq with the Sunnis and Kurds, funded with USD 500 million per year. Best practice examples include successful reconciliations in Northern Ireland, or Germany with Poland and France. America must promote Codes of Tolerance in Iraq and Syria as an important tool of peace-making.
A U-turn is needed by the President, or America will fail and the ISIS will win.