Speed Reads


Obama on ISIS: Ramadi is just a 'tactical setback'

In an interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg published Thursday, President Obama spoke about ISIS, the Iraq war, and a potential Iran nuclear deal.

Goldberg interviewed Obama on Tuesday, as ISIS gained control of Ramadi, the 10th-largest city in Iraq. "I don't think we're losing," Obama said of the battle against ISIS. "There's no doubt there was a tactical setback, although Ramadi had been vulnerable for a very long time, primarily because these are not Iraqi security forces that we have trained or reinforced." The interview came before ISIS took control of Palmyra, Syria, on Wednesday.

In the wide-ranging interview, Obama discussed the U.S. invasion of Iraq:

I know that there are some in Republican quarters who have suggested that I've overlearned the mistake of Iraq, and that, in fact, just because the 2003 invasion did not go well doesn't argue that we shouldn't go back in. And one lesson that I think is important to draw from what happened is that if the Iraqis themselves are not willing or capable to arrive at the political accommodations necessary to govern, if they are not willing to fight for the security of their country, we cannot do that for them. [The Atlantic]

The president also spoke about the potential Iran nuclear deal with Goldberg, saying that he has a "personal interest" in securing the deal, since "if Iran has a nuclear weapon, it's [his] name on this." Check out Goldberg's full interview with President Obama over at The Atlantic.