Six weeks of ever-intensifying US airstrikes have had Obama Administration officials hyping the “progress” in their new war in Iraq. The situation on the ground, however, doesn’t bare that out.
Far from progress, the situation on the ground appears virtually unchanged in six weeks, with only a handful of frontline towns changing hands and ISIS controlling the same massive chunk of Iraq it did when the US started launching attacks.
The airstrikes changed ISIS tactics, and have them no longer leaving expensive US-made vehicles out in the open, but it’s a distinction without a difference as the group is simply harder to hit, and no less entrenched.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempts to spin the new Iraqi government as a “success story” also doesn’t seem to be producing any results, as the Sunni tribal factions that were so opposed to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki aren’t running to get behind his successor, a member of the same party who holds many of the same positions.
The administration’s decision to launch an air war on ISIS, despite no chance it would actually accomplish any of its stated goals, was not accidental. Rather, it will inevitably give way to a new push from Congressional hawks to further escalate the war as a face-saving measure.