June 20, 2014
How not to end a war
At the heart of the gloomy nadir in Washington’s foreign policy engagement are several profound lessons that, regrettably, are never likely to be recognised
June can be an uncomfortably hot month in Washington but no one must have felt the heat more in the beltway in recent weeks than U.S. President Barack Obama, a man on the verge of witnessing his most cherished campaign promises bite the dust.
The 44th President may be ruing the day he vowed to wind down two wars, flushed as his 2008 dream run to the polls was with the idea of “Hope.”
Nearly six years on, the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s vision lies in tatters, courtesy of a toxic combination of terrorists from al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Afghan Taliban and their vicious cousins across the Durand Line.
Delivering the death blow
This month ISIS in particular appeared to strike the death blow to the prospect of Mr. Obama claiming peace in Iraq as his enduring legacy, even as Twitter was flooded with images showing what seemed to be the militant group’s squads gunning down Iraqi air force recruits in Tikrit, some 1,700 of them, if propaganda materials were to be believed.
After capturing Tikrit, Mosul and possibly Tal Afar, ISIS was said to be no more than 60 kilometres from Baghdad and U.S. military personnel are being rushed in to protect their embassy in the city.