ABC’s Jonathan Karl questioned the White House about whether claims the president and his deputies have made about his foreign-policy accomplishments are still valid in light of recent events in Iraq. He noted that senior White House officials have repeatedly listed ending the war in Iraq and “decimating and destroying” al-Qaeda among Obama’s top achievements. Karl asked White House press secretary Jay Carney, “Given what we’re seeing now in Iraq, can you still claim those as two of your signature achievements?”
Carney responded that Obama did indeed fulfill his pledge of ending U.S. combat in Iraq, and that core al-Qaeda, based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been ”severely compromised and decimated.” He acknowledged that “the threat posed by affiliated groups has grown,” which he said is “a challenge that we are very upfront about.”
Karl further questioned whether that state of affairs actually represents an achievement in security. “Isn’t it equally dangerous or arguably even more dangerous to have an al-Qaeda-linked group in control of major Iraqi cities than to have them in the mountains of Pakistan?” he asked.