June 16, 2015

More troops to Iraq? Six questions Pentagon needs to answer first.

By Paul Scharre

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Journalist(s) Anna Mulrine

What exactly is the US mission in Iraq? Is it simply to defeat Islamic State, is it to bring about lasting stability, or – more ambitious still – to do something that still holds out hope for former President Bush's original goal of democracy in Iraq? Is there a solid goal that US trainers can accomplish and, having done so, pack up and leave? Is America willing to give this mission a year, a decade, a generation? And how many trillions of dollars?

“After the past 12 years in the Middle East, there is a real focus by senior military leaders on understanding what the endgame is,” a senior military official told the Washington Post, “and asking the question, ‘To what end are we doing this?’ ”

Senator Graham did not appear to be impressed with this sort of introspection when he was asked about it on June 14, telling CBS’s "Face the Nation" that military leadership should be focusing on how to destroy the Islamic State.

Read the full article at The Christian Science Monitor.

  • Paul Scharre

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. From 2008-2013, Mr. Scharre worked in t...