President Barack Obama seeks allies to fight the jihadists of the Islamic State (EI) in Syria and Iraq. Obama refuses to embark his country in another war against terrorism or further unilateral adventures in the Middle East. The belief is that the White House will only achieve contain bombing jihadists, but require a coalition to defeat them with international and regional partners.
“Delete root cancer as the Islamic State will not be easy or quick,” Obama said this week. “We are urging countries in the region to support the Iraqis in the fight against these barbaric terrorists, and to this end we are building an international coalition.”
Since early August began airstrikes against EI positions in northern Iraq, the Obama administration has insisted that the solution to the conflict is neither military nor the scope of the American military. Obama believes that jihadists threaten not only American interests but also their neighbors in the Middle East and other partners, including Europeans.
In the daily press briefing, the White House spokesman Josh Earnest said yesterday that international involvement was necessary to stabilize the region in the long term. “A military operation led by the United States is not a lasting solution,” Earnest said.
United States, which withdrew from Iraq in 2011, has returned to this country to bomb the EI and has done so with the permission of the Iraqi government. The Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, announced that seven countries Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, France and the United Kingdom have joined the US ‘s commitment to supplying arms and equipment to Kurdish forces fighting Sunni insurgents in northern Iraq.
The debate in Washington is whether the operation should expand to Syria. Intervening in this country is more complicated: USA lacks first-hand information on possible targets and does not recognize the president of this country, Bashar al-Assad. A year ago, Obama was about to bomb the Assad regime; now plans to bomb your enemies of the Islamic State.
American planes began to fly over Syria on Monday in order to gather information. It is a necessary for the president to decide whether or not to attack, a decision has not been taken and this week has been the subject of multiple meetings at the White House with the heads of the Pentagon and the State Department step.
“Increasingly, the question seems not whether [ be an attack ] but when and how,” said Brian Katulis, a researcher at the think tank Center for American Progress. Finally, if the United States intervenes, the operation will be modest, more tactical than strategic added.
Obama not only wants to get Syria nor unilaterally address the jihadist threat in neighboring Iraq. Hence, the White House has begun a diplomatic campaign for allies. The New York Times on Wednesday detailed the list of countries whose collaboration has asked the United States: Australia, United Kingdom, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Some of these countries would increase assistance to moderate Syrian opposition; others, like the UK and Australia, would participate in air strikes, according to official sources cited by the Times.
The lessons of the last decade weigh every decision President Obama. In his vision of foreign policy, a unilateral attack, even exclude air and troop deployments, such as in Iraq and Syria, is anathema.
“The question now is whether [ the Obama administration ] have enough information on the ground to launch some kind of attack and, secondly, if you have a defined objective about what you want to achieve with the attacks,” said Katulis.
In Iraq, the goal was to stop the advance of the Islamic State to Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, an ally of the United States, and prevent the killing of the Yazidi minority. In Syria seem less defined objectives.