I was away on personal business and I did not have a chance to comment on what’s happening in Iraq.
Here’s the video of the announcement from President Obama: (via The White House)
Now, there are doubters. Via the Daily Beast:
Friday morning, with a humanitarian mission already underway, the United States began airstrikes on ISIS in northern Iraq. What had been the U.S. policy—to rely on local forces to contain ISIS while waiting for a new Iraqi government to reach a political solution—is finished. The new policy is still taking shape, but it may eventually lead to more involvement from the special operations troops who have been in Iraq for weeks.
President Obama said Thursday night he had authorized airstrikes to protect American personnel and the Yazidi minority group stranded by ISIS on top of Mt. Sinjar. A senior administration official later stressed to reporters that U.S. forces were not launching a “sustained campaign” against ISIS in Iraq.
But with the Kurds, America’s closest allies in the fight, recovering from heavy losses, some analysts and military veterans say that airstrikes alone may not be enough to turn the tide. A sustained—if small-scale—campaign may be the only way to achieve that.
…..and, of course, the neocon hawks:
President Obama’s limited strikes on ISIS in northern Iraq are “pinpricks” that are “meaningless” and “worse than nothing,” according to one of his fiercest foreign policy critics, Sen. John McCain.
By committing U.S. military forces to fight again in Iraq while explicitly limiting the mission to protection of American personnel and Iraqi minorities, Obama has failed to come up with a plan that has any hope of stopping the ISIS advances across Iraq and Syria, said McCain. It’s a position that puts him somewhat at odds with other Republicans, who are offering cautious support for the airstrikes in Iraq – and concern that the president doesn’t have a comprehensive strategy to combat the growing threat of ISIS..
McCain, a consistent advocate for the application of American military power around the world, has long pushed for greater U.S. involvement in Iraq. But these strikes Friday were not what McCain had in mind.
“This is a pinprick,” McCain told The Daily Beast in an interview Friday, about the two 500-pound smart bombs U.S. airplanes dropped on ISIS convoys Friday. The vehicles were approaching Erbil, the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, were many U.S. diplomatic and military personnel reside.
Now, honestly, I am going to give the President the benefit of the doubt and I am going to hope like heck, that the President knows just what the heck he is doing. As for what the President is doing and whether it will be enough or not — I have one thing to say about it — We will soon find out.
Because if it is not enough and we do kill some of those ISIS members; and it does not wipe them out and only strengthens them, we could very well find ourselves in another protracted battle in Iraq. I would hope that this would not be the case; but I have my doubts. I will say this: I highly doubt that President Obama will be as careless and reckless in his fighting this battle, as Bush was during the Iraq War that lasted for 8 years.
I just hope that I am right; for the sake of America.
Others: The American Conservative, Hot Air, Business Insider, his vorpal sword, Washington Post,National Review, Democracy in America, Informed Comment, The Moderate Voice, The Dish, Saudi Gazette, Spectator, VodkaPundit, Associated Press, Talking Points Memo and McClatchy Washington Bureau (Via Memeorandum)