At The League of Nations Paris Peace Conference of 1919, Iraq was formally made a Class A mandate entrusted to Britain. Before this the territory of Iraq was part of the Ottoman Empire, and the short story here is they lost the war. By 1922, with the British supporting Faisel as King, the country of Iraq, then a British mandate was starting to take shape. By 1932 it became a sovereign nation.
The problem with this is that Iraq was cobbled together by the British and what is worse they did it over a ten year period adding sections, tribes and peoples at different times. This was destined to fail as many had not only nothing in common but in the case of the Sunni and Shiite’s they were bitter enemies. It took a strong man, first a king and eventually a Saddam Hussein in order to cement these potentially warring and disparate peoples together within a nation state, analogous to Yugoslavia and once their strong man departed, so did the nation.
Jumping to today, with the problem of ISIS, the Kurds wanting their own nation and the south in bed with our enemy Iran, we have a similar problem in Iraq, except the only ones making a move to carve out their own existence is ISIS, whose band of thugs now has more foreign fighters than Iraqis.
The problem as it now stands is that the approximate 30 Shiite Militias have not so far been effective, the Iraqi Army was not “driven out” of Ramadi but instead “drove out” as having no will to fight nor what in fact they even were they fighting for. The Kurds have a limited range to venture, especially since Obama keeps them under supplied, with all war materials going to the Shia government who are no friends to the Kurds. What is even worse we have alienated a strong fighting force, the Sunni Tribes by continually breaking our promises to them.
Aljazeera just reported on June 4th that “A number of Sunni tribal sheikhs and tribes in Iraq’s Anbar province have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. The sheikhs and tribal leaders made the pledge on Wednesday … It said the only way that peace would come to Anbar province is if the tribes joined ISIL.” They in fact condemned the Iraqi government at that time.
This now means that if the tribes pick up arms as well with ISIS, the fighting ability of ISIS will increase exponentially. This means, that if the government of Iraq or the Shia Militias were not able to make a dent in ISIL before and regain lost territory, they have no chance whatsoever of doing it now.
What then is the solution? In my opinion, the only and final solution is to not waste American blood on Iraq, it really is their fight at this time and it just may go on forever. Therefore I will suggest that we give the Sunni Tribes what they want, by taking the ISIS bet and raising it. We must promise the Sunni their own country as well as the Kurds theirs. That which remains is Shia Iraq. Turkey may not be happy with a Kurdistan, but they are no friend to the West and we should do what is in our interests. If the Iraqi government doesn’t like it too bad as it is their fault for not empowering the Sunni’s and Kurds as equal players in the Iraqi government.
If Obama was not indebted to the Shiites by way of Iran and not wanting to upset his precious nuclear negotiations, we could have left a reasonable size force as well as insisting that the Shia controlled government is shared and positions of power not be stripped from Sunni’s. However this was not to be the case and unless we are prepared to spend precious American blood and dollars again, this seems to be ultimately the final solution for Iraq.