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.   


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Comment Sorting
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.

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