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

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora