Earlier this week I wrote about a strange occurrence in Iraq, involving a Russian machine gun loaded with Iranian ammunition, that was found mounted on an American tank. The Iraqi military had apparently lent this vehicle to a Shia militia (against the orders of the US Government), who wasted no time equipping it with the weapons they had acquired from their Iranian and Russian allies. All signs suggest that this event is a harbinger of things to come.
The Iraqi government happens to be an awkward transitory phase with their foreign policy. They are currently being supported by both the United States and the Russian-Iranian alliance. As we speak, there are two Russian generals stationed in an intelligence center in Baghdad, and Iranian advisers are helping the Iraqi military direct their war against ISIS. Iraqi officials have even said that they would welcome Russian airstrikes in their country, and they want a “full blown military alliance” with Russia, Iran, and Syria.
As you might expect, the United States isn’t taking this news very well. In fact, they’ve recently given the Iraqi government an ultimatum: It’s us or them.
MoreThe U.S. has told Iraq’s leaders they must choose between ongoing American support in the battle against militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and asking the Russians to intervene instead.Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday that the Iraqis had promised they would not request any Russian airstrikes or support for the fight against ISIS.Shortly after leaving Baghdad, Dunford told reporters traveling with him that he had laid out a choice when he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi earlier Tuesday.“I said it would make it very difficult for us to be able to provide the kind of support you need if the Russians were here conducting operations as well,” Dunford said. “We can’t conduct operations if the Russians were operating in Iraq right now.”