According to Senator John McCain, the United States needs to make a decisive decision about the situation in Iraq, and leadership on the situation needs to start with President Obama.
During a conversation hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and General Jack Keane examined the raging violence in Iraq — as well as the surrounding regions — and discussed the importance of the United State’s role in the unfolding of events.
“Now what’s the problem?” McCain said, “While the president is flying out to golf games and fundraisers, the Iranians are moving in, the most evil man on earth in my estimations, their police force is already in Baghdad and there are reports that Iranian forces are already in Iraq.”
Since the United States left Iraq in 2011, al-Queda insurgents have taken control of many of Iraq’s major cities, including Mosul and Tikrit. The Sunni insurgent group, ISIS, continues to spread throughout the country and is currently creeping on Baghdad.
Additional reports state that Iranian troops are already on the ground in Iraq and the longer the United States remains indecisive, the more likely the Iraqis will turn to Iran for help.
“They don’t have the capability to take over Baghdad or the central government.” Keane said, “They can use terrorist attacks. They are going to try to move around the isolate the city. I think they accept a line of division in Iraq.”
While the White House has begun to show the intention of becoming involved in the conflict, they have yet to take concrete steps. The White House has called on the Iraqi government to “step up to the plate” and take control of the situation.
“I’ll try to make it short, there are no good options,” McCain said. “The worst option is to do nothing. The worst option is to let the situation deteriorate into chaos.”
For McCain, our first priority in the region should be stabilization and security of the area, followed by the creation of a transitional government. America should help in any way we can, short of sending boots on the ground, to help stabilize Iraq. But on one condition: that Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri Kamil Mohammed Hasan al-Maliki creates a transition government for the Iraqi people.
“I believe that there has to be a transition government, a coalition, headed by the Shia that is respected and can affect national reconciliation,” stressed McCain.
While McCain stated that the United States should not send boots on the group, he extolled other military options.
“Air power is psychological” McCain said, “When planes fly over, it changes your thinking. It has an effect on you. The fact they are ruling out airpower is another unfortunate decision that the White House is making.”
While McCain continues to hold the belief that the Iranians remain one of the biggest threats to the United States, he believes that the situations in Iraq and Syria are currently a very direct threat to America.
The situation in the Middle East is no longer just isolated to Iraq. It has spread throughout the region, and now places a direct threat on United States homeland security.
“It’s time to come up with a course of action,” McCain said.