Republican senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said President Obama is "not providing the resources" to defeat the Islamic State in and that United States ought to send "a few thousand more" troops into Iraq to combat the terrorist group in that country.
"That's really a question, though, for our commanders to provide their best military judgment to the president to make a decision about the number and the types of troops that we need," he said. Cotton, who served in the Iraq War as an Army captain, added that there's "no doubt" the military needs more "specialized assets" in Iraq. "Whether they're special operations forces or intelligence experts to help defeat the Islamic State. That's the president's stated goal. He's not providing the resources to achieve it." Watch the video below:
Cotton also took aim at the recent question dogging Jeb Bush and other presidential candidates about the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
"There's been a lot of talk over the last two weeks about what we would have done in 2003 knowing what we know now," he said. "I think what's even more tragic is Barack Obama, knowing what he knew then in 2011, made the decision to withdraw all of our troops. Those troops were a critical component to training the Iraqi army, to maintaining its pluralistic nature, and preventing sectarian warfare from breaking out."
In a second segment, Cotton also discussed the debate over the PATRIOT Act and its provisions for the National Security Agency to use cell phone metadata to track potential terrorist communications in the United States. His fellow GOP senator Rand Paul took to the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon to protest the PATRIOT Act's reauthorization.
"What I believe is that a lot of the NSA's telephone metadata program is the result of misinformation spread by a traitor, Edward Snowden," Cotton said. "The NSA is not listening to anyone's phone calls. They're not reading any Americas's emails. They're collecting, simply, the data that your phone company already has and which you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy so they can search that data quickly in the even of a terrorist plot. And there is no doubt that this program has stopped terrorist plots or helped investigate them."
"So basically, you totally disagree with Senator Rand Paul on this," CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked.
"I firmly disagree," Cotton said. Watch that video below:
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker said America should focus on the current challenges and problems faced in Iraq. Speaking on CBS's Face the Nation, Walker responded to a question from Bob Schieffer about potential 2016 rival Jeb Bush's difficult time answering questions about the 2003 invasion of Iraq that his brother, George W. Bush, argued for as president. Another Republican candidate, Marco Rubio, has also said apparently conflicting things about the wisdom of the invasion.
For Jeb Bush and the issue of the Iraq War, the third time was the charm—but you wouldn’t know that from reading the headlines. Bush, the former Florida governor and brother of the president who took American troops into Iraq in 2003, had a difficult time explaining his position on the war this week, first in an interview with Fox News’s Megyn Kelly and later with radio host and Fox News personality Sean Hannity.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie told CNN's Jake Tapper Tuesday that it "wasn't" the right decision to go to war in Iraq, given what we know now about the intelligence failures leading up to the invasion in 2003.
"Now, I think President Bush made the best decision he could at the time, given that his intelligence community was telling him that there was WMD and there were other threats right there in Iraq," said Christie. "But I don't think you can honestly say that if we knew then that there was no WMD, that the country should have gone to war. So my answer would be 'no.'"
Last week, I wrote about how the professional left was attacking Clint Eastwood's new biopic about Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. American Sniper is almost exclusively about the struggles and heroism of one remarkable man who fought in the Iraq war, but the film's critics can't seem to forgive the fact a film was made about the war on terror that mostly eschewed politics and didn't go out of its way to attack Bush-Cheney and/or denounce American imperialism.
Can the United States maintain a "limited" military force in Iraq to stop the Islamist militants targeting ethnic minorities in that country? At Politico, Philip Ewing notes how difficult that strategy may be for President Barack Obama:
Walter B. Jones, the longtime Republican congressman from North Carolina, is facing a tough primary challenge. Jones has made his anti-war stance central to his political identity, and Peter Hamby of CNN reports on how Jones is being challenged on his position on Iraq and Afghanistan:
Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina occupies a strange place on the spectrum of American politics. An 18-year House veteran from the conservative coast, Jones is a pro-life former Democrat, raised Baptist but a Catholic convert. The 70-year-old Republican’s biggest claim to fame may have come in 2003 when France decided not to participate in the American-led coalition invading Iraq. In a moment of patriotic pique, Jones, following the lead of a diner in his district, directed the House cafeterias to rename French fries as “freedom fries.”
Two years after the self-immolation of a street vendor protesting police corruption in Tunisia, the promise of the Arab Spring remains unrealized. Instead of ushering in an era of stable self-determination, much of the Middle East remains in disarray. Syria is in flames, Egypt almost ungovernable. Libyan terrorists responsible for the Benghazi massacre are still at large, and Tunisia soon could have its second government in as many years.
We interrupt President Obama’s celebration of keeping a campaign promise to bring you news from Iraq, where a political crisis has been unfolding since just hours after Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta departed on Thursday.
Even though Iraqis turned out in droves to vote in parliamentary elections, and even though the Obama administration prepares to withdraw the last combat forces from Iraq this summer, opponents of the Iraq war amazingly continue to propagate the myth that the Bush administration led the country to war based on fabricated intelligence. Over at Politics Daily, Pete Wehner has written a detailed rebuttal of this argument as part of an exchange with David Corn.
As Iraqi election officials tally the votes from Sunday’s parliamentary elections, the Obama administration faces some difficult choices in the weeks and months ahead. Despite the apparent success of the election and the limited violence associated with it, there is the potential for uncertainty in the coming months as Iraqi parties wrangle for control of a new governing coalition.