As Islamic militants continue to capture city after city in Iraq with surprising ease, U.S. officials are preparing for the possible evacuation of the embassy in Baghdad.
With some reports claiming that ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has advanced within 50 miles of the capital, officials have also warned all Americans against traveling to the quickly unraveling country.
While the Obama administration appears to have been caught off guard by the ineffectiveness of U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces to stop the extremists, State Department spokesperson Jan Psaki offered this response Wednesday:
“We are working with Iraqi leaders from across the country to support a coordinated response and you can expect we will provide additional assistance to the Iraqi government to combat the threat from ISIL [Islamic Republic of Iraq and Levant].”
However, that statement appears to conflict with a report in Wednesday’s New York Times saying that the U.S. has rebuffed Iraqi requests to strike against the militants.
To be sure, the battle for Iraq is Iraq’s battle to fight. But after nearly 10 years of U.S. involvement, more than $2 trillion dollars and the loss of nearly 5,000 American lives, it increasingly appears that those losses will have been in vain.
Evacuation of U.S. embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam
Vietnam all over again? Too early to say. But one thing is certain; Barack Obama fulfilled his campaign promise to end the war by the end of 2011.