The US is actively supporting the efforts of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to unite his country to face down the threat from IS, the White House has said insisting that it would not impose an American solution on the country.
“The (US) President believes that, at this point in time, we should be actively supporting the efforts of Prime Minister Abadi to unite his country to face down the threat from IS,” the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
The US and the world community, he argued, cannot afford to take the risk of allowing IS to fill a security vacuum. “We know that that would have a direct and negative impact on the United States’ national security,” he said.
“I think it would explain why the President has ordered more than 12,000 airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq and in Syria. It’s why the President has given his military orders to implement a strategy to build up the capacity of Iraqi security forces to degrade and ultimately destroy IS.
“It’s also why we’ve pursued the other elements of our strategy to shut down IS’ financing and stop the flow of foreign fighters, all in an effort to degrade and ultimately destroy IS, because we know that the consequences of allowing IS to establish a safe haven inside of Iraq would be dire, both for the United States and our partners and allies around the world,” Earnest said.
Responding to a question, the White House Press Secretary said the it is for the Iraqi people who are going to have to address the challenges in their own country.
“We’ve tried the path of the United States trying to impose a solution on these countries that are facing so much turmoil and violence, and that didn’t work out very well. It didn’t work out very well for the United States; it didn’t work out very well for the Iraqi people, either,” he said.
“So we need to pursue a strategy where we are empowering the Iraqi government, the Iraqi security forces, and the Iraqi people to confront successfully the problems that are plaguing their own nation,” Earnest said.
Iraq, he said, will be most successful in the fight against IS if it can succeed in uniting that country to face down the security threat that IS poses.
“We believe that Iraq is stronger when it’s united. So that’s why the President essentially made a precondition of robust US military involvement in the counter-IS effort in Iraq that the Iraqi people elect and support a Prime Minister who’s committed to reforming the government in pursuing the kind of inclusive governing agenda that would unite the country to face the threat,” Earnest said.
“That’s exactly what Prime Minister Abadi has done. That’s why the US government has been supportive of his efforts to do so. That’s why we continue to stand with the Iraqi people in this very difficult time,” Earnest said.