Secretary of Defense Ash Carter slammed the Iraqi military Sunday, in response to ISIS militants quick seize of Ramadi saying the Iraqi military had no will to fight. Carter’s comments are the first come from any White House official speaking on the record since the news broke of Ramadi falling to ISIS fighters. The U.S. rushed shipment of arms to help boost Iraqi forces as ISIS continues to take more territory on its march to Baghdad. Carter said Iraqi military forces outnumbered ISIS fighters in the provincial capital but eventually retreated; USA Today confirmed that Iraq military confirmed that they held a 10-to-1 advantage over their opponents.
Carter are now blaming the Iraqi military after questions are rising about President Obama’s administration’s approach in Iraq, which only includes air strikes against ISIS militants and training the Iraqi military. Carter emphasized that the White House has not committed any American group troops to the fight and there is no change in strategy. Pentagon officials have not recommended putting U.S. military spotters on the ground to help guide American airstrikes against Islamic State targets. He continued to blast the Iraqi military during his interview on CNN’s State of the Union saying, “What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered,” Carter said. “In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.”
Arizona Senator John McCain is standing firm in his favor of sending American combat forces to Iraq and on CBS said “We need to have a strategy,” to defeat ISIS,” “There is no strategy.” McCain believes President Obama should have left American boots on the ground at the end of the war in Iraq. “We did have it won,” he said. “The surge had succeeded.” “George W. Bush at least had the guts to reverse and sponsor the surge, which eventually then succeeded,” McCain said. “I wish, I pray that Barack Obama would do the same thing.”
House Intelligence panel’s top Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff called the loss of Ramadi was a very serious setback and placed the blame on the Iraqi’s Shiite-led government to win over Sunnis. “Sunnis have not been bought into the government adequately,” Schiff said on CBS. “Sunni forces haven`t been adequately trained and integrated into the military. And until those changes are made, until Iraq makes the political decision to fully incorporate the Sunnis, we can add more forces, we can win these battles, but they`re not going to stay won.”
Carter said the U.S. will continue efforts to provide equipment and training so Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his government can wage an effective battle against ISIS, but the U.S. support alone would be no guarantee of success.