The Iraqi Shiites have increased their attacks on American troops in Iraq. June saw 14 U.S. soldiers killed, which is the highest death toll since 2008.The Iraqi military, which consists primarily of Shiites, is reluctant to counter Shiites attacking American soldiers. Prime Minister al-Maliki, a Shiite, is hesitant to order military action against fellow Shiites.Iran is smuggling in weapons to the Iraqi Shiites to promote the destabilization of Iraq and establish a stronger Shiite presence. Iran will probably increase its influence in Iraq as U.S. troops are withdrawn, thereby enabling it to threaten oil producing countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.Although the U.S. imports only 10 percent of its oil from the Middle East, any threat to the oil supply reverberates throughout the world and adversely impacts oil prices.The U.S. needs counter weights against the Iranian Shiite and Iraqi Shiite forces. We should provide weapons to the Kurds in the north, maintain a military force in the Sunni area west of Baghdad, and have sufficient counter forces in Kuwait. A U.S. naval presence must continue in the Persian Gulf.Hopefully, this will check any advances contemplated by Iran on the Arabian Peninsula.
Donald A. Moskowitz