Obama Adm. needs a good headline ahead of November...
Some U.S. officers in Baghdad believe the Obama administration is rushing plans for a Mosul offensive so it takes place before the November presidential election, a retired general says. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero said his contacts in Baghdad have relayed the concerns to him, fearing there is now an “artificial timeline” for what promises to be by far the toughest battle in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq.
Iraqi Security Forces, which has made strides since the U.S.-led coalition began retraining its troops, may not be sufficiently prepared for a rushed operation. The troops face the monumental task of capturing a city of almost 2 million citizens and up to 10,000 Islamic State fighters and their booby traps.
“There is tremendous concern that Washington is going to press for a Mosul operation to commence before the November election,” Mr. Barbero told The Washington Times. “The concern is, will the conditions be set on the ground by then, and I don’t think so.”
Asked about the view that the White House is pushing an early offensive, Mr. Barbero answered, “Yeah. I’m hearing that from Baghdad.” “If you look at the track record, that is not unbelievable,” he said. “It’s an artificial timeline, especially before the election.”