What has Our 20 Million Bought us in Iraq?

My father-in-law was one of those men who was wise beyond his education. He would frequently bestow little tidbits of wisdom on me while we sat watching the race or baseball after Sunday lunch. Things like, “Credit cards can be bad things, if you do not have the money for something, you do not need it right now.” But one of those tidbits I rejected out of hand and it has come back to bit me several times. “You get what you pay for.” I know this was not his tidbit, but he was wise enough to hold on to it and then pass it on.

Now, when we take a look at what we have spent our money on in Iraq, I as a tax payer feel a little cheated. It is not that I do not think that we should have done something. Nor am I one of those conservatives who screams for American soldiers to be sent into the thick of battle every time there is a problem. But as things stand right now, we should ask for our money back.

CBS reports

But the Tikrit offensive stalled — even though one senior Iraqi politician told us ISIS may have only 20 fighters left in the city.

“There are very few. They’re using snipers, and booby trapped buildings,” said Saad al-Muttalibi.

Al-Muttalibi admits that Iraq’s army is feeble – despite the $20 billion spent by America to train and equip it.

Now, I will grant that 20 Million is not a lot of money in the world of defense spending. Yet, we have to ask, what was this money spent on? Where did it go? Surely, this is not the outcome of U.S. training of Iraqi troops. This cannot be what we provide our allies when they ask for our help. According to the same Iraqi politician, the money was not spent wisely.

“I think the American money was very badly spent by the Americans,” he said. “The Americans produced for us a very weak, disorganized army filled with corruption that fell within the first battle.”

And we have to see that history bares the same outcome. Every time we spend money on equipping and training another country, our tactics and success do not translate. We trained and equipped the South Korean army and they were handedly defeated. Were it not for direct intervention by U.S. Marines from Japan, there would be just one Korea.

The same is true in South Vietnam. The moment that the Marines left the fight, Southern resistance melted away. In fact, who does not remember those horrible pictures of us evacuating our embassy?

This also may be linked to Washington’s evaluation of the enemy the Iraqis would face. They were fighting insurgents. Remember Obama’s JV comment? Well, I think we might have been a little harsh on the President on this one. It is not like he sat down and evaluated the strength and past performances of ISIS. He was going off what his advisors had told him. This may be the problem, in a nutshell.

The advisors had failed to assess properly the enemy. They did not take serious the threat. But this cannot be all there is to the problem. No, it seems what happens when we have such situations is we take help from anyone who shows up. And with American money flowing in, it is mostly crooks that show up.

What is worse, now it seems that our ally has turned to our enemy for real assistance.

CBS further reports

The strikes were requested by Iraq’s government — after Iraqi leaders earlier said they didn’t need U.S. help to win back the city. Instead, Iraq turned to military advisers from Iran to help its fighting force of more than 20,000 men — many of them from Shiite Muslim militiamen with Iranian links.

So to answer my own question, it seems we have bought a well armed and poorly trained ally for Iran.