(NBC) There’s a high-level meeting taking place near Washington this week about how to defeat the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS. President Obama’s administration is facing critics who say his strategy isn’t working.
Tuesday, at Andrews air force base, President Obama is set to meet with defense ministers from 20 countries to talk about the fight against ISIS. Airstrikes continue. In Syria, Kobani is under siege. They’re begging for international help. “Kobani does not define the strategy of the coalition,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Iraqi security forces are in full control of Baghdad,” said Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel.
But deadly bombings killed dozens last weekend, and the Joint Chiefs Chair revealed Isis came within 15 miles of taking control of the airport. U.S. Apache helicopters went in and stopped them. “They overrun the Iraqi unit it was a straight shot to the airport. So, we’re not going to allow that to happen,” said Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.
Critics say the president needs a new strategy. “They’re winning and we’re not,” said Senator John McCain, (R) Arizona.
Too slow… Not enough “fight” – says President Obama’s former defense secretary. “I don’t mind Presidents who have the quality of a law professor in looking at the issues and determining just exactly, you know, what needs to be done. But Presidents need to also have the heart of a warrior. That’s the way you get things done,” said Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
The administration is urging patience saying this effort to defeat ISIS will take time. “People need to understand there are going to be good days, bad days, victories, and setbacks, as the Iraqis themselves take this fight to ISIL,” said National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
Turkey will now allow the U.S. to use their bases for airstrikes.