No One Talks About Liberating Mosul Anymore

As the Iraqi military fights grinding village-by-village battles in western Anbar province, gaining little more than hundreds of feet on good days, there is no doubt that the war in Iraq against the Islamic State is slowing down. The best that can be reasonably expected in 2015 is the stabilization of the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah. No one even talks about liberating Iraq’s second-most populous city, Mosul, anymore. At this rate, the United States will still be in Iraq when U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office — an outcome no one, especially the president, wants.

The dominant explanations of this state of affairs focus on Obama’s reticence to commit the necessary level of resources to defeat the Islamic State more quickly, or the inability of Iraqis to make good use of international support in the war effort. It is in some ways comforting to believe that the problems of this war are caused by a reluctant president or inept allies. The truth, however, is even more disturbing: The U.S. military has not been the ally it could be, because of its lack of imagination and flexibility.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Obama is most uneasy about bombing civilian habitations no matter how militarily necessary because he doesn’t want to be called a hypocrite when he accuses others.

    • One would hope the marginal effort was due to an effort to exact concessions from our “allies” but no it’s just Obama screwing America over but good for the last time.

    • Mal

      So, Obama cares more about his image than he does for helping people.

  • Hard Little Machine

    As long they can kill people that the media doesn’t talk about.