As Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants wreak havoc in Iraq, battling the country’s armed forces, the United States is contemplating military intervention.
Just days after saying the mistake U.S. committed almost a decade ago would not be repeated, Obama announced plans on Monday to send more troops to Baghdad.
However, their job – for now – will only be to protect the American embassy.
"This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat," Obama said in a letter to lawmakers.
"This force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed."
Although the U.S. seems to be treading carefully this time around, it has not completely ruled out anything that would be necessary to put an end to the violence in Iraq.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the growing ISIS grip in the Middle East an "existential threat."
"I wouldn't rule out anything that would be constructive," he said when Yahoo News questioned if the U.S. would cooperate with Iraq against the insurgents.
When asked about air strikes he said:
"They're not the whole answer, but they may well be one of the options that are important. When you have people murdering, assassinating in these mass massacres, you have to stop that. And you do what you need to do if you need to try to stop it from the air or otherwise."
While U.S. politicians contemplate a possible intervention, their people do not believe that the country should mess with Iraq again, especially after the catastrophe that occurred in the form of the Iraq war in 2003.
Here are some reasons for Americans wanting to stay away from Iraq:
Cost – the lives and money:
The U.S. lost more than 4,484 military personnel since 2003 in Iraq.
Around 32,200 were reported injured, 22,490 of those from the Army, followed by 8,622 US Marines.
Also, a research published in a peer-reviewed American journal stated that the conflict claimed over 500,000 Iraqi lives.
As far as the monetary damage is concerned:
"The U.S. war in Iraq cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest," a 2013 study concluded.
An article published by the Canadian think tank The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) claimed that the decade-long American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would end up costing as much as $6 trillion – which is the equivalent of $75,000 for every American household, according to the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Growing discontent among veterans:
While many troops are ever ready to fight for their country, discontent seems to be brewing amongst veterans who feel cheated after engaging in the so-called War Against Terror in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.
Many are questioning what their service accomplished and whether invading Iraq and then leaving too quickly was a mistake.
"You break it, you buy it, right? Once you go in-- I think America has a moral responsibility," said former Army Capt. Blake Hall in an interview.
"I lost my friends. I want their deaths to mean something. I want my service over there to mean something."
Seventy-four school shootings that have happened since December 2012, including the Sandy Hook massacre, in which a gunman killed 20 children, six staff members, his mom and himself.
Americans want the U.S. administration to take immediate and effective steps to curb violence at home, which in the case of Chiraq, is spreading like an epidemic.
Every year in the U.S., an average of more than 100,000 people are shot, according to The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.
Something for Obama to think about.
The most obvious reason for not intervening in Iraq is past experience which has proved that meddling in Middle East conflicts has never been fruitful for the U.S.
Max Abrahms, a professor at Northeastern University who specializes in terrorism, was quoted by the Washington Post as saying:
"I think the lesson in recent history is that regardless of how benevolent U.S. intentions can be, when we go to the Muslim world and occupy it, ultimately our presence there soon becomes unwelcome," he explains.
“Not Our War”:
Last but not the least, Americans do not think that Iraq is the United States’ war – especially now when the conflict in the Middle Eastern country primarily involves a rift between different religious sects.
A new poll released on Tuesday morning showed that while Americans understand removing ISIS militants is important, they do not think U.S. should send ground troops again.