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McCain: Obama Has No Strategy To Combat ISIS

On Sunday, Senator John McCain suggested that the Obama administration's focus on climate change as a threat to national security is detracting from the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. These comments were part of multiple criticisms over how Isis fighters were able to recently take over the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

Appearing on CBS News, McCain said, “There is no strategy, and anybody who says there is, I’d like to hear what it is. Because it certainly isn’t apparent. Right now we are seeing these horrible reports, in Palmyra, they’re executing people and leaving their bodies in the streets. Meanwhile, the president of the United States is saying that the biggest problem we have is climate change.” In a commencement address at the US Coast Guard Academy last week President Obama stated:

“I’m here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security. An immediate risk to our national security. And make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act, and we need to act now.”

Sunday, US defense secretary, Ash Carter, blamed the fall of Ramadi, in the Anbar province west of Baghdad on Iraqi forces not having a "will to fight." Carter told CNN “What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight [Isis] and defend themselves.”

On the other hand, Hakim al-Zamili, the head of Iraq’s parliamentary defense and security committee, said Carter's comments were “unrealistic and baseless” and said the US had failed to provide “good equipment, weapons, and aerial support”. He also said the US military was attempting to “throw the blame on somebody else”. McCain argued “We need to have a robust strategy. We need to have more troops on the ground. We need forward air controllers … We need to have special forces. We need to have more of those kind of raids that have had some success, into Syria.”

Photo: New York Daily News

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