President Barack Obama’s decision last week to double the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and request $5 billion more for military operations in the Middle East marks a new phase in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS).
Mr. Obama offered no timeline for this mission, which is likely to outlast his presidency. More than three months after Mr. Obama began airstrikes against ISIS, the political and security situations in Iraq are still grave.
First among the complications is the dearth of effective partners in Iraq. Airstrikes can do only so much without reliable ground forces countering ISIS. Thanks to poor weather and spotty intelligence, only one out of four strike missions has dropped weapons, according to U.S. Central Command. One element of good intelligence is trustworthy eyes and ears on the ground.The above excerpt was originally published in The Wall Street Journal.