Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer argued Tuesday that the “big mistake” with the Obama administration’s policy in Iraq is placing trust in the central government and Iraqi army in the fight against ISIS on “Special Report.”
Krauthammer also told host Bret Baier the battle for Ramadi for the U.S. is a “war where we can’t win, no matter who wins” due to the three-way fight between ISIS and forces composed of both Sunni and Shia militias.
KRAUTHAMMER: The reason why Ramadi fell and why Anbar is falling is because the Sunnis have correctly interpreted the actions of their government — first [Nouri al-] Maliki, and now the new prime minister, as being highly sectarian and, in having to choose between ISIS and an Iraqi government that persecutes and goes after Sunni’s, it’s been a tough choice. Some have gone one way. Some the other. To me the big mistake in our policy is trusting the Iraqi government and what’s known as the Iraqi army…hollowed out and corrupted when all the [Sunnis] were essentially expelled…and replaced by cronies of the government and henchmen of Iran. That army is not going to fight. What [Ashton] Carter said is exactly right — had no will and ran away.
The question is why are we still supplying the friends that we have in Anbar, the Sunnies, through Baghdad, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iran. The central government will not arm them, and that’s the problem. If we had people there who are sympathetic to our cause who got a direct shipment of arms…and like the Kurds also in the north, we would have a chance. Otherwise, we will have what we have now: a self-declared sectarian war. When the government announced the name of the operation for recapturing Ramadi, mentioning the name of the Shiite martyr that started the sectarian split 1,400 years ago, that was an announcement this is a religious war. Iranian surrogates, Shiites against Sunnis. That’s a war where we can’t win, no matter who wins.