Opinion Editorial
Is Obama Fast-tracking Mosul Offensive to Save His Legacy?
By Scott Morgan
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(AINA) -- Whenever a sitting President of the United States leaves office after his term of office whether its four or eight years the media starts talking about what will their legacy be? There are separate listings for both domestic and foreign policy.

In January 2017 Barack Obama leaves office. So there are several issues in Foreign Policy that will be scrutinized by both Candidates. But there is one situation that seems to be the focus of this Administration to be resolved before the incumbent leaves office. What is a concern is this was an issue that many feel that Obama dropped the ball on.

When Obama took office He sought to shift the focus from Iraq to Afghanistan. He felt that the fighting in Central Asia was more justified than was was occurring in the cradle of civilization. But what has happened in Iraq during his term of office has been a detriment not only to the people of Iraq but has also led to problems not only in the Middle East but can also be viewed as a source of some of the issues now affecting Europe.

Considering what has happened in the Country since major US Combat Forces left the Country the Administration made a great error in Judgement with the timing of their withdrawal. Even though there was a functioning Government in Baghdad events were manipulated so that there were a couple of power vacuums in the Country. This would lead to a situation that certain elements were to exploit successfully for their own agendas.

In 2014 Sunni Elements including former member of the Saddam Hussein Baathist Party merged with Al-Qaeda Fighters to form what some refer to as Daesh or the Islamic State. They also moved into Syria taking advantage of the Civil War raging there to take over roughly one third of the Country which is roughly the same size of Iraqi territory that they were able to capture as well. Shia Militias emboldened by Iranian Support were actually able to control other parts of the Country.

Some of these actions have placed some of the Religious Minorities such as the Assyrians and the Turkmen in the position of being seen as pawns. They have suffered atrocities at the hands of ISIS and indifference at the hands of Baghdad. So they have some room to be skeptics.

One of the goals that the Obama Administration does have is the liberation of Mosul. The planners in Washington and Baghdad are beginning to fast track this effort. The goal of having the city be liberated before Obama leaves office is crystal clear. That way some issues of having a safe haven for the Religious Minorities be addressed by the next Administration.

It is also clear that President Obama feels that what has taken place in Iraq may have a negative impact on his legacy. Some of his actions do indicate that this is a valid concern.

Scott Morgan is the former President of Red Eagle Enterprises. Based in Washington, he specializes in US Policy towards Africa focusing on Security, Assymetrical Operations and Business Development South of the Sahara.

Views and opinions expressed in guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AINA.
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