Ex-Army Lt. Col. Nagl: US Soldiers Believed in a United Iraq

Wednesday, 18 Jun 2014 08:37 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The American soldiers who fought in the Iraqi War truly believed the Mideast nation could exist as one, according to retired Army Lt. Col. John Nagl.

"We believed that Iraq could be multiethnic and inside one-sided borders,'' Nagl told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"We were able to pull together the warring Sunni and Shia only with enormous effort and with 150,000 American troops on the ground as honest brokers in some ways as damping rods in a nuclear reactor.''

In the past two weeks, ISIS — the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a bloodthirsty offshoot of al-Qaida — has been taking over city after city in Iraq and engaging in the mass slaughter of civilians.

Nagl, an expert on counterinsurgency and current headmaster at The Haverford School in Pennsylvania, said:

"It's very hard for me to believe that the Sunni and the Shia are going to be able to agree to some form of power sharing agreement,'' he said.

"Particularly given [that] ISIS, the Sunni terrorist group … [killed] as many as 1,700 captured Shia soldiers over the course of the last week, murdered in open graves.''

He said the news out of Iraq in the past few weeks has been "enormously disheartening'' for those soldiers who dispatched to Iraq under President George W. Bush.

"The Iraq War was not going well when most of us served … but we turned the war around through the leadership of [Gen.] David Petraeus, Secretary [of] Defense Robert Gates and an awful lot of great fighters on the ground,'' he said.


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