Legacies are bitter weapons that plague outgoing presidents time and time again. Barack Obama thought he had his legacy wrapped up, but then came the blue color workers and placed Donald Trump into office. With one election Obama’s legacy is in tatters and he knows it. Despite all of that, there is one last battle Obama needs and wants to win to stave off a complete rejection of his so far disastrous foreign policy. This battle is the battle of Mosul, where ISIS is making there last stand as far as nation building is going.
Despite a bitter beginning of infighting between Shiite militias, Turkish troops, Kurdish Peshmerga, and Iraqi National forces, the operation according the Iraqi officials is beginning to move along. “We Are Coming Nineveh” has a time limit though and that is Jan. 20th. Right now Obama has kept the Russians out of the bombing campaign and wants to prove he doesn’t need them to finish the job. If Mosul is not taken by inauguration day, Trump will surely bring the Russians in to crush ISIS once and for all.
Why does this matter?
Obama has staked his foreign policy at least in the waning years of his Presidency on holding off Russian expansion. Of course Putin has bested him in Eastern Europe as well as Syria. This means Obama must keep him out of Iraq or risk being seen as a total loser. With Mosul grinding on and 60 days until President-Elect Trump becomes President Trump, the odds are not great that the Iraqi forces will succeed. Keep in mind ISIS could have been defeated a while ago, but each side fighting in Iraq has used the group as a pawn to offset what they see as a more mortal enemy.
This is why Trump’s approach is to ignore the game on the ground and get together with Putin and flatten ISIS and if need be others.
Jan. 20th is coming. After that date Iraq and Operation “We Are Coming Nineveh” are on the chopping block.