Iraqi security forces defend their headquarters against attacks by Islamic State extremists in the eastern part of Ramadi in Anbar province, May 14, 2015. Reuters/Stringer

Max Boot, Commentary: Focus on Obama’s Terrible Iraq Blunder

I remember walking down the ruined streets of Ramadi in the spring of 2007. The vista resembled pictures of Berlin in 1945: ruined buildings everywhere, water bubbling in the streets from water mains damaged by too many explosions. But what was most remarkable was not the evidence of violence but, rather, the fact that no insurgents were shooting at my military escorts or me.

“A few weeks ago you couldn’t drive down this street without being attacked. When I went down this street in February, I was hit three times with small-arms fire and IEDs,” Army Colonel John W. Charlton told me as we drove into town in his up-armored Humvee. But now Ramadi was eerily quiet; by the time I visited in April, not a single American soldier had been killed in Ramadi for weeks. Everywhere there were Joint Security Stations and Observation Posts where American and Iraqi security forces worked side by side to keep the peace.

WNU Editor: In all fairness .... the American public was fed up with Iraq when President Obama took over the Presidency .... and he mirrored that sentiment. So when President Bush's agreement for the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq came into effect .... President Obama did not object to it, and many Iraqis were happy to see these forces leave. Even I was happy to see them leave .... this was no longer our fight. Sighhhh .... what a difference four years makes. The fall of Ramadi means that there will be no offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State this year. And while I suspect that the U.S. coalition will be expanding their air campaign in the next few weeks .... absent ground forces these bombing operations will be ineffective. This is going to be a very long war, and there is no guarantee that the U.S. and its allies are going to be successful. Bottom line .... when President Obama leaves office in 21 months, his predecessor is going to be picking up the pieces.

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