Congressman Lynch believes that while the United States has a role to play in assisting Iraq with its security challenges and rebuilding, withdrawing U.S. forces at the end of 2011 was the right thing to do. Congressman Lynch also firmly opposes any reintroduction of U.S. ground forces, as the Iraqis must step up and fight their own fight.
In his capacity as the lead Democrat on the National Security Subcommittee, Congressman Lynch has traveled frequently to Iraq and to the region, where he met on numerous occasions with Iraqi government officials, the Kurdish Regional Government, as well as with U.S. military personnel. As he witnessed the deteriorating conditions in Iraq during the last years of the Second Iraq War, Congressman Lynch came to the decision to join the Out of Iraq Caucus and advocate for the U.S. to end its involvement in the conflict.
Congressman Lynch believes that the entrenched sectarianism in Iraq is what is preventing the country from successfully halting the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The U.S. has spent over $25 billion to train and arm over 9,000 Iraqi forces. While the U.S. is continuing to train and assist Iraqi personnel, this additional assistance will be for naught if the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the country’s other factions, including the Sunnis and Kurds, do not find a way to overcome their differences and cooperate to defend and rebuild their nation.