In a press conference today on the White House lawn President Barack Obama announced that while he was not considering ground troops he and his staff were willing to use US military force against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) fighters in Iraq on the condition that the Iraqi government had a viable political plan to accompany any US military action. Yes, America may be going back into Iraq.
Obama stressed that American had “interests” in Iraq and claimed to have been disappointed that the US trained and equipped Iraqi army folded so quickly before ISIS saying “The US has poured a lot of money into the Iraqi security forces, the fact that they won’t stand and fight indicates there is a problem.” In fact the US has spent over $25 billion on the Iraqi military which near instantaneously retreated when ISIS went on the march. What can realistically be done to change that in such a short term is an open question.
ISIS is currently heading towards Baghdad after taking over Mosul, Tikrit, and other majors cities and towns in Iraq. Obama referred to ISIS (or ISIL) as “terrorists” and said they would not be allowed to gain a “foothold” in Iraq.
President Obama: "Nobody has an interest in seeing terrorists gain a foothold inside of Iraq."
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 13, 2014
Obama said he and his national security team will be “monitoring” the situation for the next few days and will “consult with Congress” as to the action he will take. Obama noted that the American people made “huge sacrifices” for the Iraqis to be free but that it is the Iraqis’ responsibility to maintain their freedom and have stability in the country.
So here we go again. After knocking out President Saddam Hussein for fear he may have allowed Islamic terrorists a haven in Iraq (which was false) we now do have Islamic terrorists gaining a foothold in Iraq. The counter-terrorism program created more terrorism, so let’s do more?