Think-tank with ties to Hillary Clinton bashes Obama for ISIS 'failure'
There is growing speculation in Washington that Hillary Clinton will make a major break with President Obama over his Iraq/Syria strategy to combat the Islamic State.
Recent gains by ISIS are forcing even Democratic experts to question the president's failed strategy. And there is significance being attached to this clear break with Obama by a think-tank stocked with aides to the former secretary of state and the president.
Two former Obama national security aides broke with the president by urging the deployment of American ground troops to directly help the disheveled Iraqi army. One used the word “failing” to describe how the administration is arming the Baghdad military.
Mrs. Clinton helped launched the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) with a keynote speech in 2007. The center is directed by Michele Flournoy, the former undersecretary of defense for policy for President Obama, and who is viewed as a candidate for defense secretary in a Clinton administration.
CNAS issued seven papers Thursday on defeating the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, with proposals far different from the current Obama strategy of relying on limited airstrikes and training Iraq’s unproven army to do the ground combat against a growing and vicious terrorist force.
The analyses could be viewed as a preview of how a potential President Clinton would change course in confronting the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria and globally.
CNAS analyst Philip Carter, who deployed to Iraq as an Army officer advising the police, and who later became Mr. Obama’s chief of detainee policy, calls for a significant deployment of American ground forces, an option Mr. Obama has avoided.
The loss of Anbar province and its major city of Ramadi, as well as the growing success of ISIS in Syria, is finally stirring Democrats to action. The Assad regime is faltering – which isn't a bad thing by itself, but catastrophic when you consider who would replace him. And no one has any confidence in the Iraqi army and their ability to stand and fight against Islamic State forces.
Democrats are desperate not to make foreign policy a major issue in the 2016 campaign. Given the state of the world, especially Libya, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East, this is sound reasoning. But President Obama appears convinced that his policy is correct and is apparently being told that ISIS gains are temporary and both Assad in Syria and the Iraqi government can retrieve the situation.
But nervous Democrats are already seeking to throw Obama under the bus in case things go really bad in Iraq and Syria. A few more high-profile defeats like the ones in Ramadi and Palmyra could lead to the unthinkable: major Democratic politicians advocating sending American troops back into Iraq.
My, how the worm will have turned if that happens.