US to fine tune Iraq strategy in light of Ramadi debacle

center_img Sponsored Stories Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Carter focused on arming and equipping Sunni tribes.“One particular way that’s extremely important is to involve the Sunni tribes in the fight — that means training and equipping them,” Carter said. “Those are the kinds of things the team back home is looking at.”But a senior defense official said Carter still wants to work through the Iraqi government, an approach that has been ineffective so far. The official was not authorized to describe the defense secretary’s thinking publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.Carter said the events in Ramadi “highlighted the central importance of having a capable ground partner” in Iraq.Part of Iraq’s plan to bolster its effectiveness against IS fighters includes training, equipping and paying Sunni tribesmen to join in the fight. It is reminiscent of the Sunni Sahwa, or Awakening movement, which confronted al-Qaida in Iraq starting in 2006, although that program was begun by U.S. forces working directly with the tribes. Al-Qaida in Iraq is the Islamic State’s predecessor.In January, the Iraqi government held an inauguration ceremony for a few hundred Sunni fighters in Anbar province with the hope that it would plant the seed for an expanded national guard in which Sunnis would take on responsibility for security in Iraq’s Sunni areas. Those are predominantly under Islamic State control today. But the force has failed to progress at the rate the Iraqi government had hoped.___Baldor reported from Singapore. Associated Press writer Vivian Salama in Baghdad contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technologylast_img read more