Barack Obama’s emphatic and repeated promise not to deploy new American combat forces in Iraq now appears to have put the president into an extremely awkward and possibly indefensible position.
Reports from various news sources show that Obama’s limited air campaign against ISIS has failed to stop the aggressive onslaught by the terror organization. And number of military experts have recently criticized the president’s “no boots on the ground” approach as anemic and ineffective.
A senior government official in Iraq is now claiming that up to 10,000 armed fighters for the Islamic State are amassed at the very gates of Baghdad, poised to assault the capital, according to The Telegraph.
Iraqi officials have issued a desperate plea for America to bring US ground troops back to the embattled country, as heavily armed Islamic State militants came within striking distance of Baghdad.
Amid reports that Isil forces have advanced as far as Abu Ghraib, a town that is effectively a suburb of Baghdad…Sabah al-Karhout, president of the provisional council of Anbar Province, [warned that] the vast desert province to the west of Baghdad has now largely fallen under jihadist control.
CNN is also reporting that ISIS forces have made major advances, leading Iraqi officials to plead for additional ground support from the U.S.-led coalition.
Leaders in Iraq’s Anbar province pleaded for U.S. ground troops to halt the group’s rapid, relentless assault. Officials in Baghdad and Washington have not given recognition to their appeal.
And as those pleas appear to fall on deaf ears, cnn.com carries a story that shows just how perilous ISIS has become to high-ranking Iraqi security officials:
In a major setback, Gen. Ahmed Saddak, the police chief of Anbar province, was killed Saturday night in a roadside bomb that targeted his convoy, officials said.
On top of the volatile security problems in the Middle East, there are serious political problems here at home for the White House.
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A recent opinion poll cited by CBS News shows that Obama’s ISIS policy is unpopular with American voters…meaning that the peril that policy is now facing could lead to voter backlash against Obama-supporting Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections.
President Obama continues to receive negative ratings for his handling of the situation with ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. Forty percent approve of the job the President is doing on ISIS, but more (51 percent) disapprove. In September, the split was 39 percent approval, 48 percent disapproval.
A month ahead of the midterm elections, Republicans hold a large advantage on the issue of terrorism — as they did in September. Fifty-three percent of voters think the Republican Party will do a better job dealing with terrorism, while far fewer – 32 percent – pick the Democrats.
Plus, there’s world opinion…and that’s not so good for Obama either. As one particularly scathing column in The Independent observes, the U.S. strategy is “in tatters,” allowing ISIS to greatly expand its influence and power:
America’s plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group’s fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad.
The US-led air attacks launched against Islamic State (also known as Isis) on 8 August in Iraq and 23 September in Syria have not worked. President Obama’s plan to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State has not even begun to achieve success. In both Syria and Iraq, Isis is expanding its control rather than contracting.
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