Caught Off Guard, President Owes Americans an Iraq Strategy |

In a meeting today at the White House, Speaker Boehner expects President Obama to offer a coherent strategy to reverse the momentum and spread of terrorism both in Iraq and the region.  After all, both Congress and the Pentagon have warned the president for months about the worsening situation.  His White House should have seen this coming, but instead, it has been caught flat-footed from the start:

  • “Iraqi Drama Catches U.S. Off Guard” “The quickly unfolding drama prompted a White House meeting Wednesday of top policy makers and military leaders who were caught off guard by the swift collapse of Iraqi security forces, officials acknowledged.” (Wall Street Journal)
  • “U.S. Scrambles to Help Iraq Fight Off Militants as Baghdad Is Threatened” “In his only public comments on Iraq, Mr. Obama said his national security staff was meeting around the clock. But the frenzy of activity has yet to produce a tangible American response — attesting to how swiftly this crisis has erupted and how it has left a stunned White House groping for a response.” (New York Times)
  • “Obama Should Have Seen Iraq Unrest Coming, Experts Say” “Lawmakers from both parties and even some non-partisan analysts say the Obama administration should have better anticipated the rise of Sunni militants, who captured Iraq’s second-largest city last week and could pose a terrorism threat both within and outside the country’s borders.  With U.S. officials now scrambling to respond to the advances by The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the insurgent group that seized Mosul last week, some critics say there was either a failure by U.S. intelligence officials in assessing the strength of ISIS or Obama and his policy team didn’t react quickly enough.” (NBC News)

We spent years, vast sums of money, and – most importantly – thousands of American lives to improve Iraq’s security and make America safer.  Squandering that legacy would be a tragic mistake.