For John, BLUF: What degree of military involvement do we need? Nothing to see here; just move along.
If you are looking for a reason to hate the Bush Administration and to put the blame for Daesh♠ on the Bush Administration you could cite this article by Ms Liz Sly in The Washington Post♥—"The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussein’s."
When Abu Hamza, a former Syrian rebel, agreed to join the Islamic State, he did so assuming he would become a part of the group’s promised Islamist utopia, which has lured foreign jihadists from around the globe.Yes, CPA Order 1, De-Baathification, started us down this path. Who was in charge? US Ambassador L Paul Bremmer, who pleaded to WGBH that "I had my orders". The cuts were too deep, as Army Lieutenant General Jay Garner pointed out to Ambassador Bremmer at the time. LTG Garner was the interim leader and he should have been kept on as the permanent head of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Mistakes were made.
Instead, he found himself being supervised by an Iraqi emir and receiving orders from shadowy Iraqis who moved in and out of the battlefield in Syria. When Abu Hamza disagreed with fellow commanders at an Islamic State meeting last year, he said, he was placed under arrest on the orders of a masked Iraqi man who had sat silently through the proceedings, listening and taking notes.
Abu Hamza, who became the group’s ruler in a small community in Syria, never discovered the Iraqis’ real identities, which were cloaked by code names or simply not revealed. All of the men, however, were former Iraqi officers who had served under Saddam Hussein, including the masked man, who had once worked for an Iraqi intelligence agency and now belonged to the Islamic State’s own shadowy security service, he said.
His account, and those of others who have lived with or fought against the Islamic State over the past two years, underscore the pervasive role played by members of Iraq’s former Baathist army in an organization more typically associated with flamboyant foreign jihadists and the gruesome videos in which they star.
The Obama Administration official (Ms Marie Harf ) who said that the thing about Daesh is that they just need jobs hit the nail on the head, but ten years too late. The members of the Baath party needed jobs and self-respect back when we dismantled the Saddam Hussein Government. Now it is likely a different solution is needed. Even Host Chris Matthews noted that.
The real question is, how do we fix this?
Regards — Cliff
♠ Or, ISIS, or ISIL, or IS.
♥ On the other hand, reasonable people will note that this was over a decade ago and corrections should have been introduced by now. Six years in is a long time to be blaming one's predecessor.