Central Ohio Veterans Wary Of Iraq Involvment

Secretary of State John Kerry talks about ISIS(Photo: BBC)
Secretary of State John Kerry talks about ISIS(Photo: BBC)

As US Secretary of State John Kerry works to defuse a violent crisis in Iraq, a new poll shows a large majority of Americans are wary of possible re-involvement of the US military. A spot sample of Central Ohio veterans reflects similar sentiments.

Would sending troops help?

The US has sent 300 military advisers into Iraq to assess the threat posed by the group known as ISIS. Recent news organization polls show Americans have little stomach for sending combat troops back to Iraq and that reluctance extends to veterans themselves. Gabriel Diehl of Gahanna served as a medic in Iraq. He calls the renewed violence “unfortunate” and doubts whether sending US troops would help.

“It would bring stability to the region but I don’t know whether it would be in the best interests of the United States right now which is ultimately what we should be concerned about,” Diehl said.

More: All Sides with Ann Fisher discusses the Iraq issue

Best interest

Veteran Eric McCauley echoes Diehl. He says while the US cannot stay blind to possible threats it would be ill-advised to send combat troops at this time.

“Bottom line, best interest for our country would probably not be there because we would end up with casualties again,” Macauley said.

The US military exited Iraq in 2011 after eight years of combat. A marine company from central Ohio is among the most decorated unit that served. Tim Taylor is a veteran rifleman of Lima company who served during the 1990s. He did not deploy to Iraq. He offered only cautious comment about sending troops again.

“I’d probably refrain from doing too much comment on it just because I don’t have all the facts as I’ve learned during my time in the service that basically there’s a lot deeper intel on some of those operations that go on or what we may or may not do,” Taylor said.

Chasing ghosts

Veteran Diehl sums up a sentiment expressed by the large majority of Americans when asked about future troop involvement.

“You can’t go around chasing ghosts all over the world as to what could be or could not be a threat to the United States. You could get involved into a lot of prolonged conflicts doing that wouldn’t necessarily bring any rewards.”

Secretary of State John Kerry continues to work for a diplomatic solution to the Iraq crisis and is lobbying for maintenance of a central government in Baghdad. He says the American people do not want to see “a wholesale intervention” in Iraq.

Associated Press material was used in this story.