Iraq’s stalemate in Ramadi raises doubts about US strategy

FILE - In tis Aug. 20,2015 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. A summer of stalemate in the effort to reclaim the Iraqi provincial capital of Ramadi, despite U.S.-backed Iraqi troops vastly outnumbering Islamic State fighters, calls into question not only Iraq's ability to win a test of wills over key territory but also the future direction of Washington's approach to defeating the extremist group. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
FILE - In tis Aug. 20,2015 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon. A summer of stalemate in the effort to reclaim the Iraqi provincial capital of Ramadi, despite U.S.-backed Iraqi troops vastly outnumbering Islamic State fighters, calls into question not only Iraq's ability to win a test of wills over key territory but also the future direction of Washington's approach to defeating the extremist group. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – It’s been a summer of stalemate in the effort to reclaim the Iraqi provincial capital of Ramadi, despite U.S.-backed Iraqi troops vastly outnumbering Islamic State fighters.

The situation calls into question not only Iraq’s ability to win a test of wills over key territory but also the future direction of Washington’s approach to defeating the extremist group.

There’s no immediate prospect of an Iraqi assault on the city. So the standoff drags on even as the U.S. prepares to makeover its approach to countering Islamic State militants in Syria and congressional Republicans cite Ramadi as evidence of a failed American strategy.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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