Photo: NewsCom

The resurgence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, formerly known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq, can be blamed on the lack of US-Iraqi cooperation, Heritage’s James Phillips reports.

“The abrupt U.S. military exit greatly weakened Iraqi counterterrorism, intelligence gathering, and special-operations capabilities, allowing Al-Qaeda to revive in a more permissive environment,” he argues.

To combat terrorism, Phillips recommends that the Obama administration:

  1. Provide arms and assistance to help Iraq defeat ISIS; and
  2. Press Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to reconcile with Iraq’s Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders; and
  3. Normalize relations with Iraq’s Kurdish political parties.

Read more about his recommendations here.

What do you think the Obama administration should do to combat terrorism in Iraq?

Comments (40)

Cliff Thomas - June 12, 2014

I suggest that we provide air support, and attack helicopter support and most definatly drones, but no boots on the ground, even tomahawk missle strikes, Iraq has to deal with the ground war, but we could make it easier for them.

Capnjack - June 12, 2014

Resign the Presidency.

John Pappas - June 12, 2014

Let Iran deal with al-Qaeda. They can’t stand each other.

Hows that for an answer?
Clearly, with the admitted benefit of hindsight, the invasion of Iraq, we now know, was a huge geopolitical mistake.
Instead of having an Iraqi dictator giving Iran fits, our destruction of Iraq has resulted in the deaths of countless Christians in that country and allowed Iran to become even more powerful.

What a colossal failure. It’s time for everyone to admit it was a mistake and move on.

Sandra Fosselman - June 12, 2014

I recommend that the Obama administration do nothing, but that Obama be impeached for incompetently managing the Iraqi war situation as well as for the long litnany of violating Constitution laws; all of his Muslim czars should be removed and the Secretary of Defense fired and replaced with a competent military leader who will serve as an appointed interim Commander in Chief by Congress, and in cooperation with Congress.

L Cors - June 12, 2014

Phillips recommendations would have been useful if implemented a year ago, now it is probably too late. I think we have given IRAQ enough weapons, we can’t give them what is needed which is a will to fight based on latest reports. Assuming they have some leadership that can be counted on to stand and fight the terrorists, air support, electronic intelligence (information only, we control equipment), and extremely limited ground advisors. I would also be prepared to evacuate the embassy. Unfortunately, Iran is probably in the best position to support the current government in Iraq — whether or not that is in our best interest I doubt it.

James E Bailey - June 12, 2014

Nothing. These people can’t even get along with themselves yet alone others. No matter what you do or don’t do for them is a waste of time and US resources. They had their chance to keep us there but refused to sign the agreements required; ie. liability. We should definitely not give them any more arms because they will just abandon them as they are doing as I type this and end up in the hands of the militants. We should let them wallow in the sewage of their own making that has been going on for several thousand years. They want non-muslims to convert to islam or death to those that won’t. Turnabout is fair play. We did our part to get them on-track at great expense to the American taxpayer and our troops. There will NEVER be a solution!!!!!!!

Jim Keller - June 12, 2014

It is time Obama made a stand against Al-Qaeda by sending Drones and air attacks to save Iraq. Needs action now and Obama needs to be pushed hard for a decision. Lost of Iraq will weaken our position to a lost country that will affect our interest in the mid-east..

Jerry Bland - June 12, 2014

The Question: What should we do?

1. Rely on the address of our military personnel and experts who are familiar the personality and the administration of the country, including the capability of its military.
2. Determine whether this is the beginning of a civil war supported by the country’s population or simply abunch of thugs hiding behind their idea Jihad or a real Arab Spring movement.
3. Once these answers and information is available then we must decide how to react. If it’s a matter of this group being a A bunch of well armed thugs trying to subjugate the population, then we need to return with whatever is needed to support the country’s military to throw the bad guys out or destroy them. If the present “invaders” are supported by the local population instead of supporting the current leadership of the country, then we need to stay out.

william white - June 12, 2014

What Obama may have done or not done in Afganistan, Iraq, or any other Islamic country is of no importance. You can’t help people who want no help! Any attempt to free a people enslaved by Islam is not worth a single drop of American blood or money.
What is it about the word hopeless that we don’t understand.

Rick Barnard - June 12, 2014

Nothing. Stay out of foreign entanglements. We have no
business policing the world. Our military is constitutionally in place to defend our homeland, continental America.

curtis hicks - June 12, 2014

We know that Obama is destroying America and braking laws and released terrorists don’t make it any better we need justice given to Obama so we can get are Americans with are constitution rights. Everything Obama has done is wrong we’re got to fight make governments do what is right

Pete S - June 12, 2014

There is nothing that we should do for the people of Iraq. Their military is not willing to give up their lives for thier own freedom and we are supposed to risk our youth for them? I have zero interest in sending american troops to the middle east to fight what will be a battle that we do not have the stomach for and are unwilling to do what is necessary to win these types of battles. No news reporters and no evidence of what was done to eliminate the enemy. We need to fight wars with the intention of winning the war. Setting a precident that when we fight a war, it is to win at all costs and it is not going to be pretty to all involved. This method would prevent alot of wars and squirmishes around the planet.

Ray HInkle - June 12, 2014

We must not forget the importance of this country in the region. Additionally, it will cost us more later, unless something is done now. Yes, we should not have abandoned this new regime under fragile conditions and yes, our leadership represents nothing to be trusted and yes, Obama is not to be trusted, but the blood spent and the ramifications of abandonment will not do us well in the future. God help us!

N.K.Hernandez - June 12, 2014

At this point I believe we should do nothing to intervene in Iraq. There have been multiple attempts by the United States to try and win the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and others all to no avail. Ultimately this is a religious battle between the Shia , Sunni and the Kurds. I think that unfortunately with the powerful influence from Iran coupled with the Taliban and Al Qaeda we have lost. Obama pulled out too soon with no long term plan. It was all about the politics, not what was actually best for our two nations. We have had two inept Secretaries of State and now the same holds true with Chuck Hagel as our Secretary of Defense. We need to build our military here at home, seal the southern border and encourage our own energy development between the United States and Canada. None of which this administration is doing. We have spent enough blood and treasure in the middle east.

Martin - June 12, 2014

glad you asked. Look at a map of the region and then imagine that Iraq falls into the hands of Sunni religious fanatics. The Saudis, the Israelis, Jordan, Kuwait are now facing a very serious threat and then take a look at the location of Pakistan and Afghanistan and remember that the President just released 5 Taliban senior commanders. the geopolitical permutations are staggering because the Iraqi Sunni fundamentalists will control a strategic geographical location and a lot of oil. Recall also that the Israelis and the Pakistanis have nuclear weapons and that Iran is pretty acquiring a nuclear capability. Can the Saudis be far behind? So, there is a significant threat to our national interests should the ISIS take Baghdad. What to do? Why not consider reaching out diplomatically to Syria, to Turkey, to Saudi Arabia, to the Kurds, certainly to the Israelis in order to mount a determined effort to crush ISIS. Standing aside while Iraq falls would be a strategic failure of monumental proportions because of the possible ripple effect such a failure on our part would have on the region and ultimately on us. However, unless the Democrats are willing to confront the President on this looming failure, he will not feel compelled to act but eventually, the US will have to act. At this point, it is not important to point fingers and make accusations; our national interests are critical here, not the legacy of one man.

Gerald Potts - June 12, 2014

ISIS are ruthless killers. Although, our attempt to help Iraq has not been greatly appreciated by the Iraqi people, and the price was too high in terms of precious American lives, I believe we should provide assistance to stop ISIS. Otherwise, ISIS will only grow from here, and will come back to bite us somewhere down the road, when they are even more powerful. Our assistance should be limited to strategic air strikes, with possibly arms for the Iraqi people to defend themselves (the Iraqi army appears incapable of defending the Iraqi people). No American boots on the ground other than possibly as advisors or for training.

Frank Tucker - June 12, 2014

Bomb to total destruction every facility that has been overrun and occupied by terrorists. NO exceptions, NO excuses and NO boots on the ground. PERIOD !

John Breeden - June 12, 2014

use our air power and drones to attack the insurgents staging and command areas. John

Allan Marrazzo - June 12, 2014

I agree with all 3 June 12th responders. In addition we need to quit going around the world telling others how to manage their affairs. We need to clean up our own terrible mess while we still can. I am amazed anyone thinks we have the answers when you look at the way we have destroyed our own country. We are destroying ourselves from within with our stupidity, greed and self indulgence. If we don’t shift our focus to correcting that, what happens elsewhere won’t matter. A sensible strategic initiative to combat these militant Islamist is to fix our economy and develop our own sources of American energy so we quit shipping our wealth at the tune of about 800 billion dollars a year from west to east. Without our money they will have a difficult time becoming a strategic threat. We have the technology and the armaments to keep these fools in check from afar. If we fail to use it appropriately and wisely, it will be from a lack of will and liberal political correctness.

PaulE - June 12, 2014

I have to say I completely agree with James E Bailey at this point. The Iraq army is in almost full retreat, leaving their weapons, which WE ALL PAID FOR in treasure and blood, behind to be picked up the opposition.

R. D. Pilot - June 12, 2014

Absolutely nothing! We’ve already left enough hardware over there for them to kill off each other.

morris blanchard - June 12, 2014

Get rid of Obama.

Ed - June 12, 2014

Get out. This man as well as his chosen few are too stupid to be successful in Iraq. As soon as he gets the troops home (this year) RESIGN and get out of the USA.

Gerardine Reed - June 12, 2014

We already financed, trained and armed Iraqi forces. Their response to the invaders has been to drop their weapons, abandon the military equipment and run away. The invaders are taking control of those same weapons and equipment. The last thing we should be doing is sending more weapons and equipment to the Iraqis!

Micheal - June 12, 2014

The best thing obama could do to is step down…resign…quit. Whatever it takes to get him out and someone in his place that will do the job he seems so reluctant to do.

John & Dorothy Vercoglio - June 12, 2014

What we think Obama should do to combat terrorism in Iraq? Let’s think about this. (First) Impeach Obama for not abiding by our constitution. (Second) Impeach Biden for the same reason. (Third) Prosecute Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi for crimes against humanity. We taxpayers and our children are the humans who are the objects of their crimes. (Fourth) Prosecute Holder for playing politics rather than abiding by our constitution. This is a good start then later we will add to these first four.

A. Tuckman - June 12, 2014

I say we let them kill each other. All tanks have fallen into insurgent’s hands. All (or most) of Iraqi solders have given up. They are cowards who will not defend their homeland. We need to stay out of it.

C. Oh - June 12, 2014

The question makes an assumption with which many Americans disagree, and fails to define what is meant by “terrorism.” Many Americans believe that the government of the US should never have engaged in the meddlesome activity (some might call it “terrorism”) that has led to the death, dismemberment, and permanent scaring, of scores of Americans, and Iraqi civilians. Our government has so much blood on its hands it will likely never wash off in my years, so it should end the intervention and remove our military forces at once.

William Walls - June 12, 2014

Remove Obama and the other incompetent clowns and replace them with people who truly support the and defend the constitution.

Brad Panvino - June 12, 2014

America is not supporting its Allies. America has stepped away from Ukraine, and now Iraq. America was made great by coming to others in a disaster, be it natural or even foreign influences.

This is not the same America, and our president continually shows weakness. By not acting quickly, he threatens not only our nation but our Allies. This is the most flawed president in our history. It is corrupt with indecision and an administration that knows nothing of human suffering.

Benghazi should have shown a failed reckoning with this administration. Yet it goes on and on, one crisis after another. I am ashamed to be called an American.

Jeffrey Thomas Craft - June 12, 2014


Don - June 12, 2014

What he should do is irrelevant; what he is always going to do is whatever will help his fellow muslims world-wide. What we should do is send ammunition for whatever weapons both sides already have and cheer them on!

Gary Radford - June 13, 2014

You could have predicted this almost from the getgo of this war. The same thing will happen in Afghanistan. These are religious conflicts which cannot be resolved by the USA. We should learn from this experience.
We should continue to strengthen our pinpoint attack on Terrorists no matter what name they operate under but to continually intercede in internal civil/religious conflicts in the mid-east will be useless and costly.

jeff sharp - June 13, 2014

Obama and Biden should abdicate there self -built throne and turn the administration of the country over to conservatives

Gil Payne - June 13, 2014

The proof is the pudding and we have just witnessed how the pudding turned out. The Iraqi forces trained by our best for several years turned tail and ran when the ISIS moved in. What makes anyone think that billions more and more American blood is going to change anything there. We should help bordering ally countries who have an established army so they can defend themselves. We should also destroy all weapons that can be used against bordering countries and cancel the F16 contract with Iraq.

JPR - June 13, 2014

Nothing! Bush made a mistake when didn’t leave after the capture of Suddam. The Brits and others supported exit at that point but Bush carried on. When Obama inherited Iraq he had already decided, politically, that the move to Afgan was his choice, even though we had lost many and spent much on Iraq. So there you go. Lost are Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Afgan, and even Saudia Arabia. Soon to follow will be Iran. Remember we have “PIVOTED” to Asia. Comfort however lies in the fact O #1, O #2, Rice, Jarrett, Kerry and sleepy Hagel are running the show.

drake - June 14, 2014

Obama should resign in disgrace.

Jane Hogan - June 14, 2014

The US has no business entering into Iraq’s Sunni-Shia Civil War. Two reasons: We have a Sunni sympathizer President who cannot lead. The Maliki government cannot govern. Our role should be to rescue Christians and Jews fleeing for their lives instead of removing Muslim Brotherhood jihadis from the “No Fly” list.

James Giangobbe - June 14, 2014

Start a dialogue with Iran about removing the terrorists. It’s the one common thing that they can both agree on. It also could lead to more cooperative relationship regards their nuclear program.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *