President Biden has already begun to indulge in the time honored presidential tradition of bombing Middle Eastern countries without any long-term plan. Airstrikes launched by the Biden Administration on June 27 struck targets in both Iraq and Syria, hitting militias which are affiliated with Iran. Iraq described the attack as a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” an unusually strong condemnation of an American military operation.
Airstrikes hit Iraq and Syria
The United States Air Force bombed facilities which the Biden Administration claims were being used by two Shiite militias for trafficking weapons.
Shiite militias in Iraq are generally aligned with Iran, which is the principle Shiite power in the Middle East. The many Shiite militia groups in southern Iraq played a key role in defending Baghdad from ISIS at the height of its power.
It is symptomatic of the disastrous state of American Middle East policy that these groups are formally aligned with the Iraqi military in their campaign against ISIS, a campaign which American forces are ostensibly in Iraq to support.
ISIS and Al-Qaeda are Sunni Muslim extremists and have frequently fought against Iranian aligned militias in both Iraq and Syria.
The individuals killed by the American airstrikes were, according to Iraq, involved in an official operation against ISIS near the border with Syria.
US officials claim that the bombings were defensive strikes intended to retaliate against alleged attacks on American forces in Iraq.
Bombings not linked to any greater plan
The airstrikes are not a part of any broader American plan for Iraq, where the US has had a military presence for nearly two decades.
The Biden Administration is also the third in a row to bomb Syria. The Syrian government claims that the American airstrike killed a child and accuses the US of seeking to further destabilize the country.
Presidents Obama and Trump both targeted the Syrian government with a number of airstrikes. Like the latest bombings, these strikes achieved little other than killing and destroying; the Assad regime has been largely victorious in the Syrian Civil War anyway.
Without any sort of plan beyond blowing up people and buildings, these airstrikes are unlikely to accomplish anything beyond further alienating the people and governments of Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
The militias which were targeted in the most recent bombings can easily replace the few members killed and the weapons which were lost. These attacks are easy for the US, but rarely achieve anything beyond spreading anti-American sentiments in the nations being bombed.
Using drones or F-15s to bomb Middle Eastern nations from time to time seems to be an almost cathartic experience to Democrats who have abandoned the anti-war attitude of the Bush years. That catharsis may be the only thing anyone gets out of these airstrikes.