“Iraqi Security forces have “showed no will to fight” in recent battles with ISIS, resulting in the group’s alarming recent territorial gains, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Sunday. “We have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight [ISIS] and defend themselves,” Carter said in an interview on CNN. “We can give them training, we can give them equipment; we obviously can’t give them the will to fight.”
“The unusual public rebuke of the Iraqi military, which the U.S. has been training and equipping for years, comes after a week of significant ISIS victories. The jihadist group took control of the key provincial capital of Ramadi and the ancient city of Palmyra. ISIS is now estimated to control half of Syria and broad swaths of Iraq.
“In Ramadi, the Iraqi forces “were not outnumbered, but in fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight,” Carter said. The Pentagon has said the decision to withdraw from Ramadi was made by a local Iraqi commander for reasons that are not entirely clear. “I don’t believe anybody felt that Ramadi would fall, and I think it’s of great concern to everyone,” retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli, former Army vice chief of staff, said on ABC news “This Week.”
“The White House called the episode a “tactical setback” and vowed that there will be a counteroffensive. Republican critics of the administration say the ISIS gains reflect as much as a lack of coherent U.S. strategy in Iraq as alleged weakness of the country’s security forces.
Meanwhile, billionaire and real-estate magnate Donald Trump continued his verbal attacks on the Democrats, and particularly on President Barack Obama, saying that the U.S. president and Iraqi forces “have at least one thing in common – they’re both afraid of standing up to ISIS.”
“When you’re the scrawniest kid on the playground and you see three older kids coming at you to take your lunch money, you’ve got two options: you either give it to them and pray they don’t beat you up, or you pick up a rock or stick and you show them who’s boss. The latter is exactly what ISIS has been doing to America and Iraq for years now,” said Trump in an exclusive interview with Newslo.
“I cannot believe that a handful of Muslim rebels wearing bandanas and sandals are managing to beat back the single most powerful military power on the planet. This is a disgrace. What we are witnessing today is the defeat of American military machinery because of idiotic leadership. I will say this much – you can bet you’re a*s this wouldn’t have happened if Bush were still president,” Trump concluded.