Dan Caplis Show, Mike Coffman, January 13, 2014

Station:   KNUS, 710 AM

Show:      Dan Caplis Show

Guests:    Coffman

Link:        http://www.710knus.com/dancaplis/

Date:       January 13, 2014

Topics:     Iraq War, Fallujah, Ramadhi, Status of Forces Agreement, Advisory Role, True American Patriot,

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U.S. REPRESENTATIVE MIKE COFFMAN:  Things certainly have unraveled. And I think the Administration was looking for a narrative that we ended war in Iraq.  And the Iraqi government had requested some kind of residual presence, if anything to be symbolic to the Iraqi people that we were still engaged. And that’s, I think, very important, probably to this day, although the decision has been made. There are such sectarian tensions there, particularly between the Sunnis and the Shiites. And that’s what, I think, the fighting in Falluja and Ramadhi and other parts of Iraq is all about today. But what the Administration kept doing is lowering the number of troops, and obviously insisting, as they should, that Status of Forces Agreement keep U.S. military personnel under U.S. jurisdiction, as we always insist on. The Iraqi government clearly had to expend the political capital to accept that. And they were willing to until the numbers dropped so low that it wasn’t worth it to them to do that. And so the Administration is now saying, ‘Well, we gave them the opportunity, and they didn’t take it, in terms of the Status of Forces Agreement.’ But the Administration just wanted out. And I think we’re suffering some of the consequences of that today….

COFFMAN: I think the government will probably hold. But I think the Iraqi government will probably hold. I mean, they have a monopoly force at the end of the day. But I think what you are going to have is you are going have an Iraq that is not aligned with the United States  but is aligned, at the end of the day, the government of Iraq, with Iran. And so not a good position for the United States. And I think that we could have maintained.  Some residual force would have maintained at least that military-military, government-to-government ties that we would have had some influence there. Right now we have no influence.

HOST DAN CAPLIS:  So you see any scenario where you would support, or  we would see, boots back on the ground in Iraq?

COFFMAN: Certainly an advisory role, but certainly not anything beyond that. And that’s if requested. I think we have to be very careful once out about reentering that particular conflict. I would say, in terms of regular troops on the gound, absolutely not.