Iraq, the remake

Obama’s latest comments drew an emerging parallel to past US military strategy in Iraq.

After having lost the Senate to Republicans, American foreign policy is heading towards a repeat of George W Bush’s presidency.

The latest US troop surge in Iraq will allow an offensive campaign against Islamic militants, president Barack Obama claimed on Sunday, as political talk shows featuring the president and his predecessor, George W Bush, underscored the growing echoes of the past in current American military strategy.

In his first public comments since doubling the number of US ground troops in Iraq to 3,000, Obama said the decision did not represent a failure of his administration’s early reliance on air strikes in Iraq and Syria.

“Now we need some ground troops, Iraqi ground troops, to start pushing back.”

The new strategy has echoes of previous US attempts to train Iraqi forces. The former president George W Bush also appeared on CBS on Sunday to defend his original decision to invade Iraq, denying it was just to “finish the job my father started”.

“I went in there as a result of a very changed environment because of September 11 and the danger we were concerned about was that the weapons would be put into hands of terrorist groups that were going to come and [make] the attacks of 9-11 pale in comparison,” he said.

Obama insisted that this Iraqi campaign would be different from past campaigns by the US in the middle-eastern country.