Wikipedia refers to the Iraq war as follows: "The Iraq War, or the War in Iraq (also referred to as the Occupation of Iraq, the Second Gulf War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United States military), was a conflict that occurred in Iraq from March 20, 2003 to December 15, 2011, though sectarian violence continues since and has caused hundreds of fatalities." Well said. Again, call this campaign anything you want, but realize this was and is part of the global War on Terror. If you believe this invasion was disastrously stupid, then please tell me how you think the last 10 years of fighting terrorism would have been better with Saddam Hussein still in power in Iraq. What follows below is discussion around how to monitor the developments in Iraq as they fight to establish a country that is friendly with itself and its neighbors.

U.S. Rethinks Strategy to Battle Islamic State After Setback in Ramadi

from The Wall Street Journal,

White House could boost support for Sunni tribal fighters.

President Barack Obama, under growing pressure after a setback in the war against Islamic State, is poised to accelerate the training and equipping of Sunni tribal fighters so they can try to reverse the extremists’ recent gains, administration officials said. Mr. Obama met Tuesday with top national-security advisers in the aftermath of a humiliating defeat of Iraqi security forces in the city of Ramadi. The Sunni extremists of Islamic State seized the capital city of volatile Sunni-dominated Anbar province over the weekend. U.S. officials initially played down the importance of the takeover of Ramadi, 70 miles northwest of Baghdad in Iraq’s largest province. But the battle exposed crucial weaknesses within the Iraqi military, which is at the heart of the American strategy, and prompted the White House to acknowledge a setback. The fall of Ramadi effectively settled the debate between Washington and Baghdad over where to focus the fight. After retaking the city of Tikrit in March, Baghdad wanted to focus on Anbar. Some U.S. officials wanted to focus on retaking Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Now U.S. officials are scrapping the idea of immediately turning toward Mosul and plan to focus intensely on Anbar province. White House press secretary Josh Earnest described the war as “days of progress and…periods of setback.” He said the president and his national-security team are taking a look at “some areas where the strategy isn’t working as intended and needs to be upgraded.” As a first step, the administration endorsed the Shiite-dominated Baghdad government’s move Tuesday to speed up the training and equipping of local Sunni tribal fighters, expand Iraqi military recruitment, and train local police, officials said.

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