One year ago this weekend, President Obama launched airstrikes in Iraq to prevent the insurgent armies of Islamic State from advancing to the gates of Baghdad and conquering the country. Within weeks, American aircraft began bombing Islamic State's bases in neighboring Syria, too, and Obama declared his war aims: “to degrade and ultimately destroy” the militant group.A year later, who's winning the war? The answer depends on whom you ask.
“ISIS is losing,” the Obama administration's diplomatic point man, retired Marine Gen. John Allen, said at an Aspen Institute conference last month. “We've seen, I think, some significant progress.”
“Obviously, ISIS is winning,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a frequent critic of the administration, said in a Senate hearing last month. “Iraqis can't do it themselves. That's why they're losing.”
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