Retaking Ramadi from ISIS was going to be the first real test of the New New Iraqi Army.
Three months after the city’s fall to the Sunni extremist group, Iraqi forces have not yet surrounded the city 80 miles west of Baghdad, commanders say, the first stated aim of the counteroffensive.
The stuttering pace of the operation is likely to dent the image of the United States in Iraq, even as it spends $1.6 billion on training and equipping Iraqi forces.
The operation to retake Ramadi is being led by U.S.-backed forces, with Iraq’s Shiite militias largely excluded amid concerns about stoking sectarian tension in the Sunni majority province of Anbar.
The top Iraqi army officer for Anbar, of which Ramadi is the capital, blamed a lack of U.S.-led air support for the limited progress.
While it’s easy for an Iraqi officer to blame us for his Army’s failure, there’s also no denying that our “effort” against ISIS has been lackadaisical at best.