Petraeus: US ‘Probably Losing’ ISIS War, Needs New Strategy

Says Allying With Shi'ite Militias Is 'Last Resort'

In a far-reaching interview with CBS, former US General David Petraeus, the commander during much of the last US war in Iraq, insisted that the US is “probably losing” the war against ISIS right now, and needs to reevaluate its strategy going forward.

Petraeus declared the loss of Ramadi “both an operation and strategy setback, a significant one, adding that he believes that US needs to deploy more troops on the ground, including embedding advisers with Iraqi troops, a plan other Pentagon officials have recently been talking up.

Petraeus added that putting more troops on the ground “is risk, but there is also risk of losing the fight.” He also warned against backing Shi’ite militias inside Iraq, saying that should be “a very last resort.” He insisted the US could win militarily in Iraq, but only with changes in strategy.

Active Pentagon and administration officials have refused to address the prospect of losing the war, insisting that despite mounting losses, they have a winning strategy. Today they bragged of killing over 10,000 ISIS fighters in the last nine months, saying this would obviously have a big effect in the long run.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.