War enthusiast Sen. Tom Cotton (R – AR) was one of the most outspoken supporters of sending more ground troops to Iraq, and seemed at least briefly happy with the 450 troops sent to Anbar, though he clearly wanted much, much more. He’s furious today, however, upon learning those troops are sharing a base with Shi’ite militias.
Reports to that effect have just recently started making the rounds in the US media, though the reports that the US was sending troops to Taqqadum were themselves just a few days after Iraqi reports that they were using the same base to muster Shi’ite militias to try to retake Ramadi.
The Shi’ite militias are doing all the heavy lifting in the war, so it shouldn’t be surprising they’d be there. After all, the US has maintained that its ever growing number of ground troops won’t engage in sustained ground combat with ISIS, and the Iraqi military clearly isn’t up to the task.
Incredibly, since the US troops arrived the militias have mostly gone elsewhere, and the Pentagon insists only a small number remain on the base, specifically as liasions to the US forces. Even that’s not good enough apparently.
Sen. Cotton is still caught up in the propaganda from the last war, though, where the Shi’ite militias were the enemy and all secretly in league with Iran. He’s now angrily condemning the deployment as proof of the Obama Administration trying to hand Iraq over to Iranian control.
Though Cotton has made pushing for escalations of the ISIS war a centerpiece of his policy, he has also made hostility toward Iran one, apparently not anticipating the reality that the US and Iran are both backing the Shi’ite-dominated government in Baghdad against ISIS.