Commander Opposes Secret Pentagon Plan to Wipe Out Iraqi Militia

General: Attack would divert resources, risks starting a war with Iran

The Pentagon has issued a secret directive, as of last week, calling on the military commanders in Iraq to plan a massive campaign against Iraqi Shi’ite militias, with an eye toward totally wiping one or more of the factions out.

The offensive is being advocated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who believes they can destroy Iran’s proxies while the country is distracted by the coronavirus pandemic. Some commanders, particularly Lt. Gen.
Robert White, are opposing the idea.

The general warns that the new campaign would take thousands more US troops, divert resources from existing missions, and risk blowing up into a full-scale war with Iran. Escalating a war with Iran, however, probably isn’t going to deter Pompeo from advocating the effort.

It isn’t clear if Trump has signed off on the offensive yet, but he did allow the planning to continue, and advocates are likely to believe they can go from planning to engagement without too many serious obstacles.

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.