President Obama's announcement on military action in Iraq raised controversy and criticism over its validity and legal issues. The idea to deploy American troops (300 military advisors) whose intention is to help the Iraqi forces to maintain control over the rebel Islamic militants is considered by the Congress, as unconstitutional. The statement revealed that he planned on consulting the Congress and Iraq leaders for the appropriate course of action when a situation is considered delicate.
He mentioned in his speech that the U.S is ready to take targeted military action to combat rebel militants in Iraq after consultations with the Congress and the Iraqi authorities. He, however did not mention seeking the approval of the Congress as stipulates the constitution (as he did before against the Syrian government for using chemical weapons) (Pommante 21). The criticism that arose was mainly based on the president ignoring of the role and authority of the Congress in military action as described by the constitution. The president made it clear that the military activities in Iraq do not entail the combat.
It is evident that the president wants to be in control of the situation in Iraq that is going from bad to worse with the absence of the U.S army. According to Mark Thiesen in his book how the CIA kept America safe and how Barrack Obama is inviting the next attack, Obama is trying to correct his mistakes of retreating from Iraq seeing that the consequences are beyond what he expected.
The former United States ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, who disagreed sharply with the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, cited that this policy was disastrous and risky. Congressional leaders claim they did not receive a comprehensive and detailed strategic plan that President Obama intended to follow. The Defense secretary only mentioned that possible steps included air-strikes to destabilize the Sunni militant operations and push them further on the northern side of Iraq. In a report, the Senate Majority leader Harry Reid strongly contradicted the sending of U.S. Troops asserting that it was their own war to fight and that the United States should keep its distance.
The policy is likely to yield positive results such as general reduction tension by the presence of security personnel at major regions in Baghdad. The support that the U.S. Military will give their Iraqi counterparts will go a long way in taking control of the oil refineries and hence reap the benefits of oil sales consequently boosting the economy of the Nation.
A fresh wave of violence following the withdrawal of the United States army has massive and drastic consequences on the citizens of the developing country. Characterized by displacement of persons and mass immigration, the clashing of Iraqi military and Islamic Sunnis and Kurds militants cause stagnation in the economic growth and disrupts the general peace of the country. Efforts to bring both extremist groups into the political process have not yet yielded fruit.
Although the problem is an interior civil war that needs a domestic solution as Harry Reid puts it, the previous involvement of the U.S means that it is an unfinished business. The military should only leave Iraq when their mission is completely accomplished. Leaving a country that totally depends on the United States army for their peace and economic stability may be justified but very costly to both countries. Iraq needs the added security that the United States army provides and is not yet ready to handle the situation on their own without any help.
It is not a new policy. President Obama's predecessors have previously initiated foreign policies and ordered military operations in foreign countries. A particular clause that allowed the President to authorize an attack without the consent of the Congress was passed in 2001 after 9/11. This clause gives the president the right to initiate a counter-attack in case of extreme terrorist invasion.
Andrews, J. (2012). Barack obama and leadership: 10 reasons the 44th president squandered unprecedented goodwill. S.l.: Steward Publishing.
Hamoudi, H. A. (2013). Negotiating in civil conflict: Constitutional construction and imperfect bargaining in Iraq.
Pomante, M. J., & Schraufnagel, S. (2014). Historical dictionary of the Barack Obama administration.
Thiessen, M. A. (2010). Courting disaster: How the CIA kept America safe and how Barack Obama is inviting the next attack. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub.