Tags: Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | ramadi | isis | iraq | us

US, Iraq Engage in Blame Game Over ISIS Victory in Ramadi

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:33 PM

The fall of Ramadi to the forces of the terrorist Islamic State (ISIS) has triggered an international "blame game" between the U.S. and Iraqi leaders after Iraqi forces, which had ISIS attackers outgunned and outnumbered, apparently simply ran away.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter set off the conflict with his accusatory comments to CNN.

"What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight," Carter told the cable news outlet. "They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force.

"And yet they failed to fight, they withdrew from the site, and that says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves," he said, using another acronym for ISIS.

Story continues below video.

While Iraqi officials blasted Carter's comments, his assessment was comparable to that of Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, who said, "The ISF (Iraq Security Forces) was not driven out of Ramadi. They drove out of Ramadi," the Huffington Post reported.

Hakim al-Zamili, head of Iraq's parliamentary defense and security committee, accused Carter of trying to "throw the blame on somebody else," and charged that the U.S. has failed to provide "good equipment, weapons and aerial support" to the ISF, The Hill reported.

He termed Carter's criticism "unrealistic and baseless."

The Obama administration has insisted on sending military equipment and weaponry to the mostly Sunni ISF through the primarily Shiite government in Baghdad, and has provided $400 million in military gear so far out of the $1.6 billion authorized by Congress, The Hill reported.

U.S. forces do not train the Sunni fighters, who complain they are not receiving the military equipment or pay from the Iraqi government.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden, attempting to calm the dispute, told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that the U.S. appreciates "the enormous sacrifice and bravery of Iraqi forces," the Huffington Post reported.

In an open letter to Obama published in the Huffington Post, Marc Ginsberg, former U.S. ambassador to Morocco and former White House Middle East adviser, wrote, "The humiliating ISIS victory at Ramadi is not just a tactical defeat for Iraq's beleaguered army and the coalition supporting it. Rather, ISIS' victory, however short-lived, is proof positive that the anti-ISIS coalition is inadequate to the task and warrants an overhaul.

"ISIS simply cannot be diminished based on the current battlefield and Washington political calculations."

He continued: "You (Obama) have steadfastly resisted calls by your own Pentagon advisers to place a few more strategic boots on the ground when a very limited additional deployment of forward target spotters and seasoned U.S. battle advisers could have helped tip the balance and may have provided the very 'steel backbone' to better lead Iraqi military troops into sustained battle.

"The Iraqi military defeat at Ramadi proves that no amount of new arms is going to inject a will to fight.

"The cost of further American involvement in ISIS has to be made conditional on the formation of a unified command structure that yields a fighting force that Iraq itself simply cannot muster."

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The fall of Ramadi to the forces of the terrorist Islamic State has triggered an international "blame game" between the U.S. and Iraqi leaders after Iraqi forces, who had ISIS attackers outgunned and outnumbered, apparently simply ran away.
ramadi, isis, iraq, us, military
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2015-33-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:33 PM
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