Architects of the 2006 surge in Iraq told the Senate Thursday that the current U.S. war strategy is “fundamentally flawed” and a major increase in troops and operations is needed to halt the growing momentum of the Islamic State.
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In the wake of the fall of Ramadi, the United States should deploy up to 20,000 troops for nightly special operations raids and expanded assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces on the ground, conservative defense experts who once counseled former President George W. Bush told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The testimony is part of a Republican push in the Senate for a more robust strategy following last weekend’s loss of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province and one of the bloodiest battlefields for U.S. troops in the 2003-2011 war.
The stunning defeat in Ramadi has raised widespread doubts over the overall U.S. strategy against the Islamic State. The militants continued to gain ground this week, seizing the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra despite nine months of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
“The conceptual plan is fundamentally flawed. We are not only failing, we are in fact losing this war,” said former Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Jack Keane. “Moreover, I can say with certainty this strategy will not defeat ISIS,” one of several acronyms for the extremist group
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