U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter tells Congress that Iraq has not produced enough recruits to prosecute a ground war against Islamic State. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The United States called for a "greater commitment" from Iraq's government on Wednesday (June 17) in the fight against Islamic State as it lamented Baghdad's failure to deliver enough soldiers for training and underscored the need to empower Sunni tribesmen. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a congressional hearing that the U.S. military had hoped to train 24,000 Iraqi security forces by this fall but had only received enough recruits to train about 9,000 so far. "We simply haven't received enough recruits," Carter said. "While the United States is open to supporting Iraq more than we already are, we must see a greater commitment from all parts of the Iraqi government," he added U.S. President Barack Obama has faced mounting pressure to do more to blunt the momentum of the Sunni insurgents after they seized the provincial capital Ramadi last month, expanding their control over predominantly Sunni areas of Iraq. The onslaught further exposed the shortcomings of Iraq's mainly Shi'ite forces and raised questions about the ability of the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad to overcome the sectarian divide that has helped fuel the Islamic State's expansion. The United States sees training Sunni fighters, who would be subordinate to Baghdad, as crucial to their strategy. That goal in part led Obama last week to order 450 more U.S. troops to set up a new base closer to Ramadi. Carter noted that Iraq's prime minister, military officials and Sunni leaders committed to using the new base to invigorate Sunni recruits.