On Fox News Friday evening, retired Army Major General and Fox News Military Analyst Bob Scales told Greta Van Susteren that the US military “knew three months ago” that it needed to send additional troops to Iraq, but “it wasn’t until three days after the election” that the Obama administration agreed to do so.
Scales said, “it [sending more troops] was first discussed back in September when the assessment groups in Iraq came back to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey and said, ‘look, General, there [are] probably nine brigades, Iraqi brigades that are capable of taking the offensive…nine brigades that if we think we reinforce them like we did in 2007 with the Iraqis during the surge. We think we can put enough combat power enough will and enough initiative and enough leadership behind the Iraqis to allow them to take the offensive.’”
Charles Krauthamer later told Van Susteren, “if Scales is right, this is disgraceful. It’s one thing to delay an announcement for 3 days for cynical political reasons – that’s bad enough. But if in fact, the generals wanted this in September, and he delayed the actual deployment until now for political reasons – think of what happened in the interval.”
A timeline of the past two months, shows ISIS (ISIL) gaining ground in Iraq while committing grotesque acts of savagery in their relentless pursuit of an Islamic caliphate, and with little push-back from the United States other than “pin-prick” airstrikes.
The UN estimates that ‘at least 1,119 people (854 civilians and 265 members of the security forces) died from “acts of violence” in Iraq during the month of September. Those numbers exclude those who died in Anbar province and those who succumbed to “secondary effects” such as lack of food, water and medical care. 1,946 were wounded, 1,604 of them civilians.’
The wanton savagery spilled over into October with approximately 15,000 foreign fighters having joined ISIL in Iraq and Syria according to the UN.
The U.N. estimates that ‘at least 1,273 Iraqis (856 civilians and 417 members of the security forces) were killed “by violence” during October, 379 civilians in Baghdad alone, and 2,010 wounded, not counting the casualties in the Anbar province and other ISIL-held areas.’
1 November: ISIL executed 50–67 more displaced members of the Albu Nimr tribe in the village of Ras al-Maa. Thirty-five bodies of members of the same tribe were found in another mass grave. News spread that ISIL had started rounding up and killing former police and army officer in areas under its control (especially Mosul), in order to prevent possible uprisings. Among those killed were colonels Mohammed Hassan and Issa Osman. Suicide bombers and car bombings killed at least 24 people and wounded dozens in Baghdad area.
2 November: 50–75 more members of the Albu Nimr tribe were executed by ISIL in Ras al-Maa and Haditha and 17 kidnapped. Overall, 322 members of the Albu Nimr tribe had been killed by 2 November. Car bombings killed 44 Shiite pilgrims and wounded 75 in Baghdad.
ISIL executed 36 more members of the Albu Nimr tribe in Ras al-Maa.
4 November: United States midterm elections take place.
7 November: Obama decides to send 1,500 more troops to Iraq.
“The issue of war is the one issue where I would hope we could all rise above politics,” Van Susteren wistfully said.