[Ed. – Um, of course we are. Iraq is still officially a single nation governed by a unity coalition in which Shias figure prominently. There’s no option of not arming them. When merely supporting the efforts of a bunch of nuts leaves you doing what you didn’t want to do, you have two alternatives, other than continue the status quo: pull out, or take charge. And we’re not going to do either.]
U.S. weapons intended for Iraq’s beleaguered military are winding up in the possession of the country’s Shiite militias, according to U.S. lawmakers and senior officials in the Barack Obama administration. These sources say that the Baghdad government, which was granted $1.2 billion in training and equipment aid in the omnibus spending bill passed last month, is turning hardware over to Shiite militias that are heavily influenced by Iran and have been guilty of gross human-rights violations.
One senior administration official told us that the U.S. government is aware of this, but is caught in a dilemma. The flawed Iraqi security forces are unable to fight Islamic State without the aid of the militias, who are often trained and sometimes commanded by officers from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. And yet, if the U.S. stopped sending arms to the Iraqi military, things would get even worse, with IS overrunning more of the country and committing human-rights horrors on a broader scale. The risk of not aiding them was greater than the risk of aiding them, the official said, adding that this didn’t mean the administration was unconcerned about the risks involved.
Continue reading → [For whatever good you think it will do. – Ed.]