Coffman Statement on Situation in Iraq

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Washington, DC, June 19, 2014 | comments

Today, U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-Aurora), a Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Iraq, gave the following statement: 

“The President is wrong to provide any additional military assistance for the Shia-dominated government of Iraq until there is a process in place to bring about a reconciliation between the government and the disaffected Sunni Arab population.  Additional military assistance, at any level,  prior to this, is fundamentally wrong and will only be seen as the United States intervening in a sectarian civil war.

The Malaki government created an opening for the jihadists to regain a foothold in Iraq because they alienated the Sunni Arab population by pushing them out of the government. The Iraqi Sunni Arabs have had an alliance with jihadists before, only to turn against them when they saw hope of being a part of a legitimate multi-sectarian Iraqi government. 

No doubt, as an Iraq War veteran, I'm very alarmed and deeply disappointed at what is happening to that country after the gains that we made were paid for at such a high cost.

President Obama never wanted the Status of Forces Agreement negotiations with Iraq to succeed.  He subordinated our sacrifices in Iraq to a 2012 campaign slogan that he ended the war so that there were no residual forces left behind to help stabilize the country by maintaining U.S. influence on the Malaki government to be inclusive.

After the U.S. completely pulled out, Iraq immediately begin to fracture as the Shia-dominated Iraqi government pushed out the Sunni Arabs who have allied their militias with jihadist forces to push back against a Shia-dominated Iraqi government that has lost all legitimacy to them.  Together, they have thrown out the Iraqi Army from the Sunni Arab areas of the country.

Only the Sunni Arab regions of the country have fallen.  The Kurdish and Shia areas of the country are not in danger of falling and the Sunnis have an incentive to be a part of an Iraqi government if it treats them fairly and provides for an equitable distribution of the oil wealth of the country.”

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