Monday on CNN’s “At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan,” anchors John Berman and Kate Bolduan were shocked President Barack Obama admitted he doesn’t have a complete ISIS strategy and said “All these months later and there’s still no strategy,” adding with the question how we will be ultimately successful “if you at this point, this far in, don’t have a complete strategy?”
“I want to talk more about this and maybe the surprising statement we just heard from the president,” Berman said. “I don’t know what’s more notable — that the U.S. doesn’t have a strategy, or a complete strategy, to train Iraqi forces to battle ISIS in Iraq or that the president used those words again, ‘no complete strategy,’ because this is something he was roundly criticized for way back in September. We are all these months later and there’s still no strategy?”
Fareed Zakaria, also a CNN host, said the problem had more to do with the Sunni-Shiite divide in the war-torn nation.
“The problem is political,” Zakaria said. “The Iraqi army represents a government that is seen as a Shiite government by the Sunnis. Remember, the Sunnis are the guys that ISIS draws its recruits from. So if you don’t change the composition of the army, if you don’t change the — if you don’t make concessions to the Sunnis, bring them into the government, then you’re building up what is going to be seen by the Sunnis as a Shiite army. So the fact that you’re training them and equipping them, all great. But when they go in there, the Sunnis are going to say ‘we prefer ISIS to this,’ and that’s what’s been happening for the last year or so.”
Kate Bolduan added, “Right away I’m sure President Obama even knew himself that if he — whatever — when he was trying to say, he did not say it correctly. by saying ‘we do not have a complete strategy’ he is opening himself up to criticism, especially when you see, in light of the continued gains by ISIS, and the president continuing to say that we have temporary setbacks but we will be ultimately successful. How? If you at this point, this far in, don’t have a complete strategy?”
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