I didn’t want to talk about the failure of George Bush’s, Tony Blair’s and John Howard’s War in Iraq, other than to say it was a failure.
It went in there to stop Saddam Hussein having Weapons of Mass Destruction. None were found so the reason for being their morphed conveniently into bring Democracy to Iraq.
It appears from what is now being said in the news that the whole thing has been an abject failure.
Trillions of American Dollars were spent, over 4,000 US troops lost their lives and now we have warfare being waged by an extreme group of people claiming they represent goodness knows what.
So what am I concerned about?
This group called ISIS and apparently they have committed some horrendous crimes whilst they have been fighting to the north of Bagdad. What is extremely worrying to me is that a small group of fundamentalist have managed to rout 2 Iraqi Divisions which had the Arms and organisation comprising several thousands of trained soldiers.
Apparently they are 60 miles North of Bagdad. In normal driving conditions that is an hours easy drive.
Our diplomats are in that city. I have no doubt that there are contingency plans to get the diplomats out of Bagdad, when they are in danger. The Americans have already reduced their staff at their Embassy. In fact they made the following announcement 5 days ago
SO what is Australia doing?
Well in my Opinion Australia is doing the wrong thing. We are sending Special Forces troops in to Bagdad to protect Embassy personnel. Whilst I have no doubt of the competence and capability of our Special Forces, I question this decision.
We have withdrawn some personnel but left some there.
Here are my reasons.
Iraq is an essentially land locked State, although it does have access to the Sea at it’s Southern extremity close to Kuwait.
Bagdad is 674 kms away from Kuwait city, the closest friendly nation to Iraq. This is a trip by car under normal circumstances of 6 hours and 24 minutes. It would be easy for the ISIS forces to outflank Bagdad and set up several Road blocks on these roads to the South and deny access to a way out of the country.
The Australian Embassy is in the Green Zone (a supposedly well protected area) in Bagdad and to get out by air one would have to travel to the airport to do so. If ISIS fighters were to make a bee line for the airport, then this avenue of escape is also vulnerable.
In my opinion sending in troops to guard the people is a silly idea as it adds to the problems considerably if there is an investiture of Bagdad by ISIS forces. Presumably the Special Forces troops would have to fight their way out and they would need help to do so.
That help would not come from Australia because the requirements of such a mission are not in the capability of the Australian Armed forces. It would have to come from the Americans. Who no doubt would help, but who would also have their own problems if such a scenario were to arise.
Whilst Australia is a capable country in military terms it does not have the type of assets to effect a rescue of trapped Diplomats if things go pear shaped.
Whilst this government likes to talk in Military terms about all sorts of things I wonder if they actually able to look at a few facts before they make arguably stupid decisions about showing their Hairy chests.
Iraq is a cauldron which was stirred by America, Britain and Australia. The cooking wasn’t very well done and they now need to simmer down and have a cool look at the facts.
I don’t like the aggressive stance of the Abbott government and I think we should withdraw our diplomats to Kuwait and wait for the situation to develop. Then no one would be hurt and a whole lot of potential situations would be negated.