WASHINGTON — In trying to avoid another ground war in Iraq, the Obama administration is struggling to convince local Iraqi leaders in Iraq to fight the Islamic State terrorists. This is a continued struggle even with the U.S. indicating it will use its air force to strategically decimate the terrorist group, which controls large swaths of Iraqi and Syrian territory.
Reuters reported Sunni tribes and factions have not warmed up to the efforts of Washington, D.C. But, diplomats have met with leaders in Amman, Jordan and Arbil, Iraq (the capital city of the autonomous region of Kurdistan).
Sunni Muslims not affiliated with the Islamic State may feel that the Americans’ previous efforts to integrate both Sunni and Shi’a Muslims into the national Iraqi army and government was an abject failure. Also, the Islamic State’s brutal killings and military advances may have intimidated them, but other say it is the lesser of two evils (the bigger evil are the opposing Shi’a Muslims).
Kurds in northern Iraq have fended off vicious Islamic State attacks and held them at bay, with limited U.S. air support. But, the beheadings of Western journalists, Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British national David Haines, enraged the West and pushed Obama to take action. Many have criticized the lack of strategy outlined by Obama, the lack of international support for fighting the terrorists, with former U.S. congressman Allen West outlining a strategy here.