Democratic representative Tulsi Gabbard criticized the Obama administration’s lack of focus and strategy in Iraq. When asked by ABC’s Martha Raddatz whether she’d rule out troops on the ground, Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, said such questions are secondary when the White House is actively denying that it wants victory in Iraq.
“We’re missing a critical question here: What is our mission?” Gabbard said on This Week. “Adam [Kinzinger, a Republican congressman] and I both joined the military after 9/11 because we heard our nation’s leaders say after that attach that we would go and take out these Islamic extremists wherever they are. . . . That stated mission has been lost.”
“We heard from the White House last week, and I quote, ‘these airstrikes are not part of a broad-based counterterrorism campaign against ISIS.’ So if our mission is not to take out the Islamic extremists who continue to threaten and wage war against us, then I think we’ve got a real problem here,” Gabbard said.
“If we focus on that mission,” Gabbard said,” and I think we should,” then the U.S. can consider how much power it ought to commit to the situation in Iraq. She suggested heavily arming the Kurdish government and continuing targeted air strikes to support their operations.