After the sacrifice made in Iraq, it is a disgrace that President Obama’s new strategy is losing not only our gains but the lives of our allies.
A summer of stalemate in the effort to reclaim the Iraqi provincial capital of Ramadi, despite U.S.-backed Iraqi troops vastly outnumbering Islamic State fighters, calls into question not only Iraq’s ability to win a test of wills over key territory but also the future direction of Washington’s approach to defeating the extremist group.The Ramadi standoff, with no immediate prospect of an Iraqi assault on the city, drags on even as the U.S. prepares to makeover its approach to countering IS in Syria and congressional Republicans cite Ramadi as evidence of a failed American strategy. Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a leading critic, says it’s clear the U.S. is not winning, “and if you’re not winning in this kind of warfare, you are losing.”
The Obama administration insists patience will pay off, even in Ramadi, where in May, IS won control against a much larger Iraqi force, shattering claims by U.S. military officials that the group was on the defensive across Iraq.
Obama’s strategy is simply not working and more and more experts are expressing grave concern.
Jim M. Dubik, a retired Army lieutenant general who headed U.S. training of Iraqi forces in 2007-08 and is now a professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies, says the U.S. and the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi should be acting with more urgency.
“I really fear that our current approach may not work in time,” Dubik said. Al-Abadi is under enormous pressure not only from the Islamic State but also from inside his own government, including those who favor giving Iranian-backed militias a lead role in Ramadi. Until more Iraqis become convinced that al-Abadi will prevail on the political front, he is likely to struggle on the military front, Dubik said.
What is even worse is today’s reports that our other engagements are fairing just as poorly. In fact, our U.S. backed Syrian rebels gave gear to al-Qaeda terrorists.
the rebels surrendered six pickups and ammunition to an “intermediary” for the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front in Syria, the Pentagon said in a statement. The equipment was about a quarter of what the rebels were issued and was turned over in exchange for safe passage through an area controlled by the Nusra Front.
The allegations, if true, would be “a violation of Syria train-and-equip program guidelines,” Col. Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said in the statement.
How much failure can the American people endure under the hands of a failed foreign policy? McCain is simply the Senator that understands our current crisis more than any other elected official.