Following a meeting with Iraqi Premier Hayder Abadi during the G7 summit in Germany, President Obama talked up his plans to eventually win the ISIS war, saying the existing strategy was sound but not “complete,” and suggesting that the “complete strategy” would mean further escalation.
Obama declared his main near-term war goal as accelerating the training and arming of Iraqi troops by US forces. The US has sent a number of ground troops to act as “trainers” and “advisers’ in Iraq, and the acceleration will almost certainly mean more boots on the ground.
Obama went on to declare his confidence in Abadi’s continued rule, and said he believes Abadi when he says the loss of Ramadi, the Anbar capital of 500,000, would just be a “short-term tactical gain” for ISIS. Abadi’s promised counter-offensive has already stalled outside of the city.
Launching the ISIS war a year ago, Obama promised no ground troops, a pledge quickly changed to no combat troops. More and more troops are put near the front lines, however, and Pentagon leaders are openly talking about embedding US troops into combat forces as a next step.
Obama has gone increasingly hawkish on the war for months now, but continues to present his position as the moderate one, a fact aided by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC) et al. perpetually demanding a ridiculously big ground invasion of Iraq, Syria, and anyone else they feel like.