On Dec. 14, 2011, President Obama proudly proclaimed the “end” to the Iraq war, announcing that “there is something profound about the end of a war that has lasted so long." He was blasted by Sen. John McCain, a strong supporter of fighting to victory in Iraq: "I believe that history will judge this president's leadership with the scorn and disdain it deserves.” For nearly a decade, AEI scholars have written on the conduct of the Iraq war, the foundations of the invasion and the prospects for a postwar Iraq.
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After 50 days of obvious failure, it's time to consider an approach that might work against ISIS: Get American special forces on the ground with the Sunni Arabs themselves. The only other alternative is to resign ourselves to living with an Al Qaeda state and army.
When John Kerry ran for president in 2004, he dismissed the allies fighting alongside the United States in Iraq as a “trumped-up, so-called coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted.”
Gen. Martin Dempsey's comments about the size of the Free Syrian Army force that the US can train is a tacit confession that the prospects for lasting success against the Islamic State are slim and distant.
The Islamic State is a threat to the United States of America, and that is the primary reason we must defeat it. The United States has capabilities that no other state or group in the world has, and that is why we must lead this effort.
Obama seems more concerned with distinguishing what he is doing in Iraq from what the George W. Bush administration did than he is with following a war strategy that will defeat the enemy.
The Islamic State is a clear and present danger to the security of the U.S. We must therefore pursue an iterative approach that tests basic assumptions, develops our understanding, and builds partnerships with willing parties on the ground, especially the Sunni Arabs in Iraq.