After Dragging His Feet Against ISIS, Military Officers Fear Obama Suddenly, Recklessly Rushing Mosul Offensive To Help Hillary Win Election
Some U.S. officers in Baghdad believe the Obama administration is rushing plans for a Mosul offensive so it takes place before the November presidential election, a retired general says.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero said his contacts in Baghdad have relayed the concerns to him, fearing there is now an “artificial timeline” for what promises to be by far the toughest battle in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq.
Iraqi Security Forces, which has made strides since the U.S.-led coalition began retraining its troops, may not be sufficiently prepared for a rushed operation. The troops face the monumental task of capturing a city of almost 2 million citizens and up to 10,000 Islamic State fighters and their booby traps.
“There is tremendous concern that Washington is going to press for a Mosul operation to commence before the November election,” Mr. Barbero told The Washington Times. “The concern is, will the conditions be set on the ground by then, and I don’t think so.”
Asked about the view that the White House is pushing an early offensive, Mr. Barbero answered, “Yeah. I’m hearing that from Baghdad.”
“If you look at the track record, that is not unbelievable,” he said. “It’s an artificial timeline, especially before the election.”
Added Mr. Barbero, who commanded troops in the Persian Gulf War: “We all know the conditions for this. This is going to be a different fight. They are going to fight to the death in Mosul, and we have got to make sure that the conditions are set so we can destroy them.”
An offensive less than four months from now would help Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton dispute Republican charges that the Obama administration is letting the Islamic State run a global terrorism operation. Some Republicans argue that more American boots should on the ground for the fight.