Press Secretary Josh Earnest answered several questions about the White House reaction to the fall of Ramadi – at one point suggesting that reporters were focusing too much on the setbacks in the fight against Islamic State terrorists.
Referring to reporters and the “agonizing” reaction to the fall of cities like Kobani to ISIS in October 2014, Earnest suggested that they looked “silly” in hindsight after the city was retaken by Kurds in January.
“I guess the thing is, we have to sort of decide what our approach to these issues is going to be,” he said. “Are we going to light our on fire every time that there is a setback in the campaign against ISIL? Or are we going to take very seriously our responsibility to evaluate those areas where we succeed, and evaluate where steps are necessary for us to change our strategy where we’ve sustained setbacks?”
Earnest argued that the current strategy was an “effective” display of American air power and equipping and training Iraqi security forces.