McClatchy reports: The Obama administration Monday called the fall of the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province to the Islamic State a temporary setback that Iraqi forces would reverse with U.S. support. Experts dismissed that assessment as ludicrous.
“Delusional, really, is the better word,” Ali Khedery, a former U.S. official who served as an adviser to five U.S. ambassadors to Iraq and three heads of U.S. Central Command, said of the administration’s statement. “It’s unbelievable, frankly. I now know what it’s like to have lived through Vietnam, I guess.”
Experts called the loss a stunning blow to the Iraqi government and U.S. strategy.
It wasn’t clear why the administration clung to an upbeat message three days after the Islamic State overran most of Ramadi and a day after Iraq’s best special forces unit fled the city with other troops, local police and tribal fighters. The message was delivered in nearly identical verbiage by White House, State Department and Pentagon spokesmen and was reinforced by a statement from Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [Continue reading…]