News / Middle East

US Senator Blasts Obama's Handling of Iraq Crisis

Senate Armed Service Committee member Sen. John McCain, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, July 8, 2014.
Senate Armed Service Committee member Sen. John McCain, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, July 8, 2014.
Michael Bowman

A top Republican lawmaker says the Obama administration has "no strategy" to combat radical Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. John McCain was one of several senators who spoke after a closed-door briefing by top U.S. officials on Capitol Hill.

For months, Senator McCain has been one of Congress’ most-outspoken critics of President Obama’s handing of the security crisis in Iraq.  Tuesday was no exception.

“There is no strategy for countering the largest enclave of terrorism in history on the Iraq-Syria border.  They have no strategy, nor could they articulate a strategy to counter what our intelligence estimates are [[predict]], over time, will be a direct threat to the United States of America," said McCain.

McCain spoke after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee behind closed doors.  A former intelligence chief during the George W. Bush administration, Michael Hayden, was also seen entering the secured room.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill was asked if she shared McCain’s impression of an administration adrift when it comes to Iraq.

“I think they have strategies.  I just think, if the American people are looking for some simple sound bite, it would be irresponsible to give one, because it is complicated," said McCaskill.

McCaskill listed Iran’s involvement in Iraq and the Iraqi government’s lack of inclusiveness as complicating factors.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he is more convinced than ever that some exercise of U.S. military might will be required to halt the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has seized large swaths of Iraqi territory in recent months.

“No one [in the briefing] gave us a scenario where the safe haven they [ISIL] enjoy in Syria and Iraq could be eradicated without some American military force.  No boots on the ground, but air power," said Graham.

Senators of both parties declined to comment when asked if the administration gave any signals that U.S. air strikes in Iraq were imminent.  

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said the determining factor as to what should be done is the safety of the United States and every American citizen.  He said breeding grounds for terrorists cannot be tolerated, but the situation in Iraq remains a question mark more than a decade after the U.S.-led invasion.  

Later in the day, members of the House of Representatives were to receive a separate classified briefing on Iraq, continuing weeks of sustained consultations between the Obama administration and lawmakers.   

 

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 09, 2014 5:36 AM
So for those of you who say media isn't biased, or media doesn't pander to one side or the other. Take a look at McCain's pic. Take a look at Hillary's pic. Take a look at any Democrats pics, take a look at any Repubs pics. It's because the old saying that a pic is worth a thousand words. This sight shows favoritism big time, but I still like this forum. I am but a few in the world who can read without pics. But at least for Kerry's defense, he looks like a ghoul no matter what pic they choose! Come on, the guy is creepy! Did he have a stroke.......when he was 5 years old?

by: gen from: japan
July 08, 2014 11:25 PM
Oh!Mr.Maccain! That'him.Ukraine blasted.He is most dangerous for US security ? Also Mr.Hagel?

by: meanbill from: USA
July 08, 2014 10:50 PM
The US arms the Sunni Muslims in Jordan and Turkey, and trained them to use the shoulder fired anti-tank, and shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles taken from Libya, to wage war on the Shia Muslim led governments in Syria, and now in Iraq....

QUESTION?... What are all these thousands of foreign Sunni Muslims fighting for in Syria and Iraq?.... (to bring freedom and democracy their country), wherever that is?... (or is it), just to wage war on the Shia Muslims, and nothing else?).... and why does the US keep supplying all these shoulder fired anti-tank and shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles to the Sunni Muslims, that now have joined the al-Baghdadi (ISIL) army, that every country in the world says are terrorists?

PS;... The US with the greatest military in the world, with the greatest weapons in the world, couldn't "win" the Iraq war in (7) long years.... (but yet), the US expects the Iraqi government to defeat the al-Baghdadi (ISIL) army, with the 3rd world weapons the US left the Iraqis with, and no air force of any kind, and they were forced to buy (25) year old attack fighter planes from Russia.....

PS;... What can the US do to defeat an enemy in Iraq, that's far more superior, than the enemy the US couldn't defeat in (7) years in Iraq before?.... CRAZY isn't it?.... the US wants Iraq to sign the "Unequal Treaty" before they'll bomb the gas stations, and fuel trucks, to starve the al-Baghdadi (ISIL) army of gas, to win this war....
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 09, 2014 8:26 AM
When are you going to fix those broken wooden steps on your rusty trailer? And get a job, tired of you being on welfare!

Again with the retarded 'Unequal Treaty' garbage!!! Where is your proof of this, share your infinite knowledge of this ghost of a treaty you keep spewing out??? I did 4 tours in Iraq. How many did you do? Can we all guess? Maybe if you were a soldier, you wouldn't be on welfare! We did supply Iraq with aircraft, as did the British. You complete and utter idiot! Iraq bought no such aircraft from Russia, do you have copies of the receipts? You stink with your hate America rhetoric! Iraq wanted us out completely, is that our fault too? You piece of...wait....I almost insulted a bowel movement. I can't compare you to that, because it would be a compliment to you.

by: Not Again from: Canada
July 08, 2014 10:16 PM
The solutions to the sit in Iraq can't be dis-associated from the sit in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen; in addition, Iran, Turkey are involved/engaged in the conflicts; soon to be engaged, not by choice, will be the rest of the Gulf States, Jordan, Pakistan, Egypt, and depending on the sit of Jordan, even Israel will be sucked into the conflict.
We have, mainly, an outright Sunni - Shia conflict, with some exceptions like Hamas, in Gaza, which has engaged on the Shia side, notwithstanding their Sunni background, same applies to Sudan, Houti in Yemen are Shia and so on..
It is highly unlikely that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is engaged with/for the ISIL, as some anti-Sunni propagandists claim; because ISIL's leader wants to destroy the monarchy, and base his imaginary "CALIPHATE" in Mecca; same applies to Kuwait, the Emirates.....
The way ahead, the countries/people, that are stable, need to be further strenghtened, as required; Turkey, Jordan, the Kurds, Kuwait, KSA,.... The Iraqi gvmt, needs to be pluralistic, so that it can sustain and defend itself on the ground.
As far as the ISIL, the EU and other gvmts must cut off the continuous supply of Jihadis.....for their own good.
Re the US, once the failing Iraqi gvmt smartens up, has the obvious role in the air- with armed RPV, their numbers need to be doubled. The strategy needs to deal with mobility and line of communications..... The US Mil know what to do, they did it succesfully in the Balkans, but the objects are not power lines/main bridges/TV Stations..... they should know their work.
McCain's solution, of pointing fingers, will definitively not work, nor his looking back and his remembering nostalgically Bush's strategy, it failed then, and embracing it again will also not work, just more cost lives.
At the end of the day, political solutions will be required, or once again the effort will not work; the only solution left for all times = separate the people, NEW BORDERS/NEW STATES, so they do not continue killing each other for eternity.

.

by: ali baba from: new york
July 08, 2014 10:05 PM
It looks Like that there will be a solution to IsIl once many people have focused their attention to the problem , There will be solution. It is Iraq problem and Iraq has to fight them and eliminated them. This is not the end of the story. It is the story of jihad. The definition of jihad is Fighting infidel whom are causing problem for Muslim. In the news ,France estimate that 800 French citizen are fighting along side with IsIl. How many American Are there? once the war is over, they will return To US . They might started problem similar to the situation in Egypt . .The Egyptian who fought in Afghanistan returned to Egypt In 1990 and caused very serious violent problem .President Mubarak of Egypt had fought them very aggressively. and special police search for them in the desert and remote mountain in Egypt. The special police was able to kill most of them .From that Example, once these jihadist return to Us ,we have a problem. and it need very aggressive plan to put them under control.

by: Joe Falco from: Austin, Texas
July 08, 2014 8:26 PM
McCain is senile. ISIL aren't terrorists. They are the Saudi financed, Sunni counterbalance to Iranian backed Shia. The natural partition of Iraq is happening as it should. Support the Kirds in the North and let nature takes it course. Good riddance.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs