By Claude Salhani- Trend:
U.S. President Barack Obama made it clear over this past weekend that the U.S. military intervention in Iraq was purely "for humanitarian reasons" and to protect U.S. military personnel deployed in the region. Satisfied that all else was well with the state of the world, Obama left Washington, D.C. for his summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard.
Obama directing the U.S. military to act in Iraq is certainly a step in right direction. The problem (one of them at least), is hoping the president can remain focused on the ambulant disaster that is the state of Iraq and the state of Syria as chaos reigns with the Islamic State running affairs of state.
The president directed the U.S. Air Force to bomb a certain number of targets in Iraq. Targets were limited to the hoards of IS fighters getting too close to some refugees running away from the Islamic State advances, or to safeguard the U.S. military advisers that were recently dispatched to Iraq. To date some 800 U.S. military advisers are in Iraq.
These are far from sufficient and will hardly contain the rising threat and influence posed by fighters of the Islamic State. These measures are short of a Band-Aid when what is needed is major surgery.
"The president made it clear this was to avert the humanitarian crisis and to protect American military personnel," said Sen. John McCain, who is a leading opponent of President Obama's policy -or rather lack thereof.
Speaking of Obama's foreign policy on CNN's "State of the Union," McCain added: "That's not a strategy, that's not a policy. That is simply a very narrow and focused approach to a problem which is metastasizing as we speak."
Perhaps the reason Obama is treading carefully is because he does not want to upset the group that has turned into the most dangerous of terrorist groups in the world. Images and video released by the Islamic State shows hideous recordings of prisoners being tortured, mistreated and executed. Many of the videos show Islamic militants promising to bring their battle to the West.
Indeed, when he was released from a U.S. detention center in Iraq, Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, told one of the U.S. officers in charge of the center, "I will see you in New York."
Obama's directives are insufficient because sooner or later the United States will have to face the rising threat of the Islamic State, head on. How do we know that? Simple. Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed "emir" of the self-declared Islamic Caliphate has said so himself.
The group's fighters are committed to eventually turn their attention to the United States and whether they are targeted selectively or massively is irrelevant. They will strike in the UK regardless of how many bombs are dropped on them. Think of them as an angry wasp you have disturbed. You know very well that unless you kill it, it will come back and attack you. The same is true for IS.
"There needs to be a more comprehensive strategy rooted in the security interests of the United States," Gen. James Dubik told The Washington Times.
Dubik oversaw the training of the Iraqi army during the latter part of the U.S. mission, which ended in 2011. "The key security problem facing the U.S. is the creation there of an Islamic state, basically a sanctuary for terrorists - the very sanctuary that we've been fighting for 13 years now to prevent," said the general.
Claude Salhani is a political analyst and senior editor with Trend Agency.
Follow him at on Twitter @ClaudeSalhani
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