Escalation: Obama Broadens War Goals

Informs Congress About Latest Round of Attacks

The US air war in Iraq has moved into its second week, and they are continuing to announce new, broader war goals virtually every today, with the White House today announcing a new notification was sent to Congress.

President Obama informed Congress that the latest war goal, the Kurdish capture of Mosul Dam, would require US airstrikes to support it, and claimed the loss of the dam would be a threat to the US Embassy in Baghdad.

The Congressional reaction should be trivial, as both parties seem overwhelmingly pro-war at this point, and if anything are complaining that Obama’s repeated escalations fall short of their own designs for a massive new Iraq War.

Indeed, on the Sunday talk show circuit, Congressmen were not only pushing for escalation in iraq but also for expanding the war across the border into Syria, with many saying the only way to guarantee full victory over ISIS would be attacking them in both nations.

Obama initially made the war just about protecting US troops in Irbil, then expanded it to Baghdad as well, then broadened it further to denying ISIS territory, and is now focusing on the Mosul Dam.

The Kurdish Peshmerga reported taking “most” of the dam today, backed by the US strikes. Holding it is another matter, as the dam has been heavily contested for awhile. The ever-broadening US war goals don’t stop there, of course.

On Thursday, Anbar Province Governor Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi reported a deal with the US on putting troops on the ground in the province, along with a substantial round of airstrikes aiming to chase ISIS out of the area.

The push for constant escalation was somewhat slowed last week when it was revealed that the “trapped Yazidi” crisis was largely untrue, and the Pentagon has since been openly talking about looking around for other opportunities for “humanitarian” intervention.

They won’t have to look far, because after the long US occupation, Iraq is still a trainwreck in a lot of places. The ISIS incursions have only made matters worse, and the US war will only add to that humanitarian crisis.

Telling in how long the US war is liable to take is that the British military, which is talking about joining the war to a limited extent to back the US, is saying their role will last months.


Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.