Today, the U.S. military reported that it captured in Iraq an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) member suspected of (in the words of our military) “coordinating. . .for the transportation of multiple Iraqis to Iran for terrorist training at IRGC-QF training camps,” In response, Bill Kristol wonders why such training camps are off-limits to our forces. Kristol says he raised with a senior Bush administration official the issue of going after these Iranian camps. While not denying that such camps exist or that we know where they are, the official discounted their importance. Kristol was not satisfied this explanation.
I’m not privy to the information that would enable me to assess the precise importance of the training camps in question. However, I find it hard to accept the concept of an unimportant terrorist training camp that’s sending its graduates to Iraq. This is especially so when the camp is run by an outfit as formidable as the IRGC-QF and backed by the government of Iran.
The surge (and related strategies) appears to be working very well against al Qaeda and fairly well against indigenous Iraqi militias. We should not allow Iranian-based or Iranian-trained personnel to fill the terrorism breach by killing Americans and/or Iraqis and, in the process, providing additional fuel for the forces in the U.S. that favor our defeat. Nor, more generally, should we permit Iran to believe there’s no price to be paid for promoting violence in Iraq. Rather, Iran should be given the incentives it needs to sit this one out.
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