The Obama Administration appears to be of two minds about the Iraqi military intervention, and which position their taking seems mostly a function of where officials happening to be visiting. Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry was visiting Baghdad, and hyping imminent “intense and sustained” military intervention for the Maliki government.
Today, as the first US troops arrive in Baghdad to assess the state of Iraq forces, Kerry has gone northward to the Kurdish capital of Irbil, and is now insisting no serious US military action will take place until the formation of the next government in Iraq.
Kerry declared it “would be a complete and total act of irresponsibility” to launch airstrikes in Iraq until a new government forms, and the US has repeatedly insisted that Maliki shouldn’t be a part of it.
Though the administration continues to move pieces into place for a military intervention in Iraq, they appear to be dangling the prospect in front of Iraqis as conditional on ousting Maliki.
At the same time, ISIS continues to shore up its control over the country’s north and west, and is parading US-made vehicles through Mosul, captured when the Iraqi Army fled.
The US “advisers” on the ground are taking stock of what the Iraqi military has left, but at this point the answer seems to be unclear, as their morale is in tatters after repeated routs and analysts are saying much of the force is “combat unready.”