On Monday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)—noting the Pentagon’s astonishing desire last Thursday to speak to defense reporters about details of a prospective attack to Mosul on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—said she was “mind-boggled” at what transpired.
Last week, one of the officers speaking to the media revealed that one of the Pentagon’s training camps to help fight Islamic State terrorists was located in Jordan. Jordan had made it clear it wanted that information to be kept private.
Republican Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reacted with fury, claiming the Pentagon’s actions put the mission in danger. Gabbard, who served in the Iraq War, blasted the Pentagon on CNN:
I was similarly mind-boggled and didn’t understand at all how this could be part of a strategic plan in what they’re talking about. That you’re not only outlining the timeline — which is troubling, but you’re also talking about specifically how many troops, how many brigades, where they’re coming from, and what they’re going to be doing.
The Pentagon’s officials told reporters that the attack would require 20,000 to 25,000 troops and occur in April or May. They even described how the forces would descend on Mosul. They lamely protested on Monday that the data had already been revealed and did not contain sensitive information, but Gabbard wasn’t buying it. She snapped that there “was no excuse.” She added, “We need to shift our strategy, so I’m going to keep working on it. We have to stop them in their tracks and defeat them militarily and ideologically.”
Gabbard has fought with the Obama administration before; she wants to arm the Kurds so they can fight ISIS, and she has been outspoken in her call for the administration to admit that the enemy is comprised of Islamic extremists.
Gabbard said, “The reason why I feel so strongly about this is personally, is because it comes from my own experience at having served in Iraq. I served in a medical unit, where I saw the cost of war every single day and understand the need to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.” She concluded, “This is an issue that transcends partisan politics. It’s something that we need to have a vigorous debate and dialogue on.”
Gabbard may fight with Obama about foreign policy, but she’s still a Democrat. She tweeted on Friday:
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) February 21, 2015