Those old enough to remember the Vietnam War during the period of 1963-65 or so may experience deja vu.
In the strongest sign yet of U.S. doubts about the Iraqi government’s ability to stabilize the strife-torn country, President Barack Obama questioned the future leadership of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, saying the country’s political elite needed to rise above sectarian differences and find an “inclusive agenda.”
“Whether he is prime minister, or any other leader aspires to lead the country, it has to be an agenda in which Sunni, Shia and Kurds all feel they have the opportunity to advance their interests through the political process,” Obama said at a White House briefing Thursday.
He added that the “test was before” Maliki, and that “the future of Iraq hangs in the balance.”
Obama’s statement comes amid reports that the White House is weighing whether to press the Iraqi prime minister to step down in a last-ditch effort to avert a full-scale civil war.
Obama also announced Thursday that the U.S. would increase the number of “military advisers” in Iraq, while still holding out the possibility for “targeted and precise” airstrikes in the country.