Peters: 'Yes, U.S. Sacrifices in Iraq Were All For Naught'
As al Qaeda-inspired militants, take city after city in Iraq, Fox News strategic analyst Ralph Peters reacted this morning on America's Newsroom. A New York Times report today indicates that the Iraqi government's requests for U.S. airstrikes against militants' staging areas were turned down by the Obama administration.
Here's more background from FoxNews.com:
Al Qaeda-inspired militants in Iraq vowed Thursday to march against Baghdad after seizing two key northern cities, sparking fear among residents in the capital who rushed to stores to buy up goods.
A spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) -- said in audio posted on militant websites commonly used by the group that the fighters have old scores to settle with Iraq's Shiite-led government.
In Baghdad, hundreds of young men surrounded an army recruiting center after authorities issued calls for help in the fight against the ISIS, The Guardian reports.
The group – under its former name of Al Qaeda in Iraq -- was classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department in 2004.
Meanwhile, in Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul – which the ISIS captured much of on Tuesday – militants paraded American Humvees seized from Iraqi forces who evacuated the area, according to Reuters.
Witnesses told Reuters that helicopters captured by the ISIS also flew overhead, apparently the first time the group has obtained aircraft in years of fighting.
Peters said the opportunity to affect the situation with airstrikes has diminished since the militants have taken so much territory. Peters suggested Obama think about ordering strikes on militants' bases in Syria and western Iraq to "get their attention," but explained that will not stop the advance toward Baghdad.
"This is an incredible strategic problem and President Obama is clueless," said Peters, who pointed out that the jihadists are willing to give their lives for their cause, while Iraqi soldiers are not.
Patti Ann Browne asked whether the all of the sacrifices made by the United States in Iraq over the past decade were "all for naught."
"The answer is yes. All the death, all the bleeding, all the money for naught. Simply because President Obama saw things in political, not strategic, terms," said Peters, explaining that Obama doesn't want to do anything militarily in Iraq.
He argued that President Obama's "real legacy" is going to be "the creation of the first jihadi state in modern history stretching from central Syria to central Iraq," blaming the president for failing to leave behind a residual U.S. force to stop this from happening.
"This is shaping up to be the biggest Arab jihadi victory since the 12th century, 1187 and the fall of crusader Jerusalem. This is momentous," he said.
Watch Peters' analysis above, and the latest report from Conor Powell below.