McCain : ISIL rapid rise, failure of US policy in Iraq

McCain : ISIL rapid rise, failure of US policy in Iraq
Mon Jul 7, 2014 23:16:39

US Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) says the rise of the so-called State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group in Iraq is “a failure of United States policy.”

McCain and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC.), who just returned from a trip to Afghanistan, said that ISIL posed a direct threat to the United States.

“This didn’t have to happen. This is a failure of United States policy and, by the way, there still is none that I can discern, either a policy or a strategy that can handle this situation,” Sen. McCain said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, according to The Hill.

McCain, who fiercely advocated that the US maintain a military presence in Iraq, blamed the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq for the current crisis in the country.

“It's the situation that we have allowed to deteriorate because we didn't leave troops behind,” he said. "There's a long series of events that have taken place, which have caused us to be where we are today."

Iraq is currently witnessing a spate of violence which escalated after ISIL militants captured large swaths of the country, including key cities of Mosul and Tikrit.

McCain said the US needed to launch airstrikes against ISIL positions and step up support for militant groups operating inside Syria to combat ISIL terrorists in neighboring Iraq.

The Arizona Republican added that the $500 million that President Barack Obama has asked Congress to provide to the Syrian opposition is too little and too late to be effective.

Appearing on the same program, Sen. Graham predicated a situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan “far worse than Iraq,” if the US military presence in the region is reduced to 1,000 troops by 2017.

He called on President Obama to “reverse your course” and “keep our counterterrorism capabilities in effect to protect us here at home.”

The CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency have issued reported analysis for nearly a year that Iraq’s military would not be able to combat ISIL.


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