TRIGGER WARNING: President Obama's position on Iraq questioned.
For John, BLUF: "This is a legacy issue for Obama, an actual red line. Iraq is already in the win column and only becomes a loss if he listens to Republican advice and orders combat troops to return, the White House thinking goes." Nothing to see here; just move along.
From Defense One we have this cynical point of view on the Iraq situation, "The White House’s Game Plan for Iraq: Run Out the Clock".
The general Republican question for President Obama when it comes to the self-described Islamic State in Iraq is simple: Where's the strategy?I think this is a little cynical, but worth considering. It is fair to say that the President Obama is resisting sending troops overseas to fight the battles the Iraqis are not fighting well. It is also fair to say that President Obama believes that is the will of the American People, and he would not be wrong in sensing that.♠ The important question, which probably won't come up until the election heats up, is the long term consequences of not getting involved.
Obama should have left behind some combat troops rather than bringing them all home. He should have reacted more aggressively to the extremist group, and much earlier. He should even—in the view of a few—send thousands of troops back now, or risk "losing" Iraq.
"We need a strategy," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation. "We don't have a strategy right now."
But anyone who doesn't understand Obama's Iraq strategy simply hasn't been listening closely.
There are those who argue that these groups in the Middle East and North Africa are just fighting to get us out of their turf. There are also those who believe that these groups are interested, long term, in expanding beyond the Middle East and North Africa, bringing their vision of government to us in the West. The President believes that they don't really want to expand, or if they do, it will be in the long run and only then will the American People react. If one is charitable, one could liken President Barack H Obama to President Franklin D Roosevelt.
Regards — Cliff
♠ On the other hand, as a leader he could show the American People that engagement is the right thing to do.