The U.S. military and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are getting closer and closer in Iraq, even sharing a base, while Iran uses those militias to expand its influence in Iraq and fight alongside the Bashar al-Assad regime in neighboring Syria.
The unlikely neighbors are:
... both using the Taqqadum military base in Anbar, the same Iraqi base where President Obama is sending an additional 450 U.S. military personnel to help train the local forces fighting against the Islamic State.
Hard to imagine that relations are especially cordial since:
Some of the Iran-backed Shiite militias at the base have killed American soldiers in the past.
A year ago the Islamic State first made headlines around the world by storming Mosul and conquering Iraq’s second-largest city. President Obama pledged to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the organization. Here we are a year later, and with ISIS now holding more territory—including other Iraqi cities like Ramadi—the Obama White House has yet to figure out how to degrade, never mind destroy, the organization. As Obama said last week at the end of the G7 summit in Germany, “We don’t yet have a complete strategy.”
At a press conference in Germany, President Obama admitted that he does not have a "complete strategy" to defeat ISIS:
"When a finalized plan is presented to me by the Pentagon, then I will share it with the American people," said Obama. "We don't yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis as well about how recruitment takes place, how that training takes place. So the details of that are not yet worked out.
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina says the United States is "not making progress" in its fight against ISIS. In a recent interview with THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Fiorina said President Obama "understates the significance of the situation" with the terrorist group that has taken over large swaths of land in Syria and Iraq.
"It's more than a tactical setback," she said of Ramadi, a critical town in Iraq's Anbar province that fell to ISIS forces last week. "It demonstrates that we're not making enough progress in degrading and defeating ISIS."
Kentucky senator Rand Paul says the "hawks" in the Republican party helped create and grow the Islamic State terrorist group. Paul, who is running for president, appeared Wednesday morning on MSNBC, where host Joe Scarborough asked him about fellow senator Lindsey Graham's own likely White House bid.
"Graham would say ISIS exists because of people like Rand Paul who said, 'Let's not go into Syria.' What do you say to Lindsey?" said Scarborough.
The latest craze in the presidential campaign is to ask the contenders (on the Republican side) whether they would have invaded Iraq if you knew what you know now. The answer is supposed to be obvious. Jeb Bush got himself into some trouble by answering the more important question, which is where the errors were made and how he would have corrected them. He is now backpedaling on the unforgivable error of having given too sophisticated an answer.
Oklahoma City Former Texas governor Rick Perry sounded off on the fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to Islamic State forces at a conference Thursday, saying President Obama has “lost the peace” in a critical part of the country. He also said Hillary Clinton bears responsibility for the current violent state of Iraq under ISIS.
In remarks today on Capitol Hill, Speaker of House John Boehner called for action in Iraq:
“On Iraq: It’s been a week now since ISIL fighters stormed Ramadi – the capital of Iraq’s largest province. Hundreds of innocent Iraqi men, women and children have been executed, dozens of U.S.-supplied tanks and military vehicles have been seized," said Boehner.