October 24, 2016

Battle of Mosul Has Bearing on Two Presidencies

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Journalist: Carol E. Lee

WASHINGTON—The U.S.-backed fight to wrest Iraq’s second-largest city from Islamic State control holds implications extending beyond the battlefield and into both the departing and incoming U.S. presidential administrations, raising the stakes for how it unfolds in the closing weeks of the election campaign.

For President Barack Obama, Mosul is reverberating beyond his broader fight against Islamic State and into his legacy as a reluctant wartime president. It is an opportunity for Mr. Obama to secure a victory in a region that has given him few, but also a risky operation that has put his foreign policy under renewed scrutiny.

For Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, one of whom will inherit the Islamic State fight in January, the battle for Mosul has spotlighted their contrasting positions. Mrs. Clinton has said she would attempt to defeat Islamic State without resorting to the use of U.S. combat forces, while Mr. Trump points to Mosul as evidence of the failures of the administration in which Mrs. Clinton served.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal.


  • Ilan Goldenberg

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Ilan Goldenberg is the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is a foreign policy and defense expe...