President Obama’s military operations in Iraq were blasted Friday by two retired four-star Army generals.
Gen. Barry McCaffrey told MSNBC Mr. Obama’s bombing runs on artillery pieces belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were a “political gesture” composed of “pinprick strikes,” while Gen. Jack Keane told Fox News said that the inability of the Obama administration to get military aid into Iraq months earlier contributed to the current conditions on the ground.
“These are political gestures using military power,” Gen. McCaffrey said, the Daily Mail reported. “We dropped three aircraft loads of water and food to 50,000 people in the mountains. Now we’re striking ISIS artillery units. It looks to me as if a lot of this is internal U.S. politics to show we’re doing something. …
If you’re going to protect refugees, 50,000 people without water and food, you don’t do two F/A-18 strikes on an artillery unit somewhere in the vicinity.”
Gen. Keane told Fox News that the White House used Iraq’s political instability as an “excuse not to act” for months.
“The harsh reality is ISIS needs to be stopped regardless of the political situation in Iraq,” he added, the Daily Mail reported.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday the president is “determined” to not send American ground troops into Iraq.
“I think the president was determined to use military action to protect American personnel who are in harm’s way. He was determined to use American military assets to address an urgent humanitarian situation,” Mr. Earnest said. “The president is just as determined to make sure the United States is not dragged back into a prolonged military conflict in Iraq.”