Media omission: Coffman favors re-deployment of advisory troops in Iraq

(Wait, what? – promoted by Colorado Pols)

On a Denver radio show Friday, Rep. Mike Coffman affirmed his opposition to the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq, adding that, even now, he'd deploy U.S. military personnel to Iraq, if they were invited, to serve in an advisory role.

Asked by KNUS talk-show host Dan Caplis if he'd support "boots back on the ground in Iraq," Coffman replied:

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 ground, absolutely not."

During the interview, Coffman expressed regret that U.S. troops are not on the ground in Iraq today, to help the Iraqi government confront sectarian violence.

"Some residual force would have maintained at least that military-military, government-to-government ties that we would have had some influence there," Coffman told KNUS' Dan Caplis Friday. "Right now we have no influence."

Listen to Coffman say he favors re-deployment of advisory troops to Iraq.

Coffman didn't offer details on the size of the "residual force" he had in mind, but back in 2009 he endorsed the Administration's plan envisioning an American force of up to 50,000 troops remaining in Iraq.

On the radio, Coffman criticized President Barack Obama for withdrawing troops from Iraq. If Obama hadn't pulled out so many troops, it's possible a residual force could have been left in Iraq, Coffman said, and the current crisis might have been avoided.

Coffman: "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… 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." [BigMedia emphasis]

Under the Status of Forces Agreement, Obama planned in 2011 on keeping 10,000 troops in Iraq. Later, he lowered the number to about 5,000, before the troops were asked by the Iraqis to leave. Based on this, and his statement above, Coffman appears to have been prepared to leave at least 10,000 troops in Iraq or more, if necessary to make it worth it to the Iraqis politically.

Coffman's announcement that he favors the re-deployment of advisory troops to Iraq appears to be a reversal of a position he took in 2011, when he stated that he supported President Barack Obama's decision to remove all troops from the country.

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Coffman reversing his position? Shocking.

  2. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Advisors.
    I remember Vietnam starting with advisors.
     

  3. ModeratusModeratus says:

    So what you're saying is, Coffman agrees with what Obama said before the SOFA broke down?

    Scandalous.

  4. dustpuppydustpuppy says:

    Coffmann should take his own advice and redeploy to wherever he wants to support. He can go on the frontlines and battle his own battles.

    The troops can go home and leave the politicians who wants this stupid war there.

    We'll just appoint some sane ones.

  5. JBJK16 says:

    Coffman should avoid tv, radio, reocprding devices and driving drunk with guns in his car.

    This doesn't hurt much in CD6 where no one much cares about Iraq.  And the D candidate won't do anyting with it. The true conservative position: Iraq stands on it's own two feet and we stay out.

    • BlueCat says:

      A tough stance for any R to take. They've built their rep on being the tough warrior guys, though mainly of the Cheney let's you and him fight mold, who support the troops, though never in any material way, while Dems are the soft wimps in their narrative. Even if they have bronze and silver stars. 

      Don't expect Republican (and one of the vet exceptions that proves the general chickenhawk rule) Cofffman to take what you consider the true conservative stance. It's not the stance actual Republicans take and actual conservatism as it exists in the real world of US politics today is what counts, not some ivory tower ideal.

    • roccoprahn says:

      Really?

      What was your position on Iraq up to the day 44 was sworn in?

      No way to fact check you, so I'm relying on you to just be straight up on this. One thing's for sure, though. No red I know wants anything to do with Iraq now, but no red I knew back during the cheney administration WASN'T all moist and worked up, all in for the Iraq occuptation………….right up 'till January 20th, 2009. (As long as they didn't have to go. Which they/you never do).

      Now, I never see "support the troops" on the hummers, never hear any "patriotic, red blooded republicans" even mentioning Afghanistan or our people deployed there. What happened?

      "No one cares much about Iraq, and the D candidate won't do any(t)ing with it."

      What does that mean? What's changed in conserveworld?

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Nice timeline of Republican accomplishments. 

        . . . maybe coulda' added the date of that "Mission Accomplished" prance by Cheney's little cowboy . . . (and, the maybe the date that Cheney's Haliburton stocks split two-for-one) . . . ??

      • JBJK16 says:

        Well – to the degree I believed the WMD potential, I was not opposed to force to be sure and guarantee the impossiblity.  I was not in favor of an occupation, nation building, nor changning the mission to depose or kill Saddam.  FWIW- there were and are way worse depsots in the world. But if General Powell had not gone to the UN and made the claim, I would not have felt any real urgency.

        "As long as they didn't have to go. Which they/you never do). "

        Well- not sure about that. Most of my colleagues in uniform voted R fairly consistently, or so they claimed whenever they could.  So I'm not sure where this misperception came from that those in uniform were or are not R.

        Perhaps its due to the lack of active service in the bio of those we elect.  It's not a requirement to hold office, you know. And though lots of people think it should be,  I do not agree. The civilian control of the military has turned out to be a really good thing.

        It means the voters of CD6 are not clamouring for withdrawal in Afghanistan – and are not focused on Iraq.  Coffman said something that could make him look foolish- but his opponent won't do much with it.  Partly because there is no reason to (no interest in that talking point) and partly because he has no uniform experience of his own, he is unlikley to make a big deal out of it and draw everyone's attention to what he was doing when Coffman was on active duty.

         

  6. JBJK16 says:

    Plenty of R' wanted to resist the temptation to invade and occupy Iraq.  Not Senator Clinton, nor many of her D colleagues.  But the party faithful for the bs, same as everyone else, and they were not about to defeat the President. 

    But now that we have established there are no WMD and Iraq is no threat to the US (unless / until alQueda has a base of operations with which to strengthen and train), I hope conservatves return to an  "intervention as  last resort" approach…you know, that whole "…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none" thing. I'm not talking about some liberal ivory tower, I'm talking about deciding to commit US forces and funds only when necessary.

    Unless we can sell them more, the best kind of relationship.

     

    (If you repy – but I do not, I probably just have nothing to say.) 

    • BlueCat says:

      1 Republican Senator out of 49 voted against. In the House 215 voted for, two didn't vote and 6 voted against. Hardly "plenty "of resistance. The right has been hawkish for too many decades now to pretend conservatism is any longer devoted to saying out of foreign interventions in practice. Screw theory. Just sayin'. 

      The Dems who voted yes mainly did so out of political cowardice, especially those with presidential ambitions, though some because they were taken in. I've always found it impossible to believe that Colin Powell was taken in. I believe in his case it was a misguided loyalty to the team. A pity he didn't resign rather than be the mouthpiece for what I'm sure he knew was bull.  A man of his stature might have changed history by giving cover to those who were afraid of not going along.

      • JBJK16 says:

        Right, the President's party went along with the bs. They needed to be seen doing something and there was no way they were going to oppose the President.

        The main thing was WMD.  And I believe General Powell has acknowledged and apologized for his actions.

        Ike stayed out of Asia, Nixon wasn't conservative. If Reagan was conservative he woulda stayed out of South America. Desert Storm was necessary (even if in the Summer of 90 it was avoidable).

        • JBJK16 says:

           Which doesn't change the notion that conservatism is or should be about being conservative.  I'm not saying isolationist, but let Iraq stand on its own. Iran has agreed to a plan, trust and verify. N Korea is the real rogue state. And the asymmetric battle against terrorists and NGOs must be fought wherever possible.

          • BlueCat says:

            And I'm saying so what?  Conservatism at this point in time is what it does, not what you see is the ideal. The overwhelming majority of flesh and blood, as opposed to imaginary ideal, conservatives have been hawks and proud of it for decades. They have assigned Dems the role of being less patriotic because of opposition to military adventures ever since Dems started questioning and opposing the war in Vietnam.

            Arguments about ideals that exist out there in the ether are interesting but not relevant to real world politics.

            Also, It's great that Powell is sorry but that doesn't change his failure at the time which, once again, I never believed for a second was based on his actual belief in what the administration was selling. He blew it. 

            Cabinet members and other officials throughout history have stood against what they believed to be wrong by resigning and announcing why they couldn't go along with the administration they were serving. That's what he should have done.  No wonder he's sorry.

  7. CaninesCanines says:

    Great positioning: Just the kind of guy who, as your elected official, will second guess a done deal.

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