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Republicans attack Obama's foreign policy as Iraq crisis continues

As the crisis in Iraq shows no signs of de-escalation, Washington's plan to send more help to the Iraqi government has not met with wide-spread approval. The speaker of the US House of Representatives is accusing President Barack Obama of "taking a nap" on the matter of Iraq.

WASHINGTON: As the crisis in Iraq shows no signs of de-escalation, Washington's plan to send more help to the Iraqi government has not met with wide-spread approval.

The speaker of the US House of Representatives is accusing President Barack Obama of "taking a nap" on the matter of Iraq.

President Obama made it clear when he spoke in the Oval Office on Thursday that the US has already been helping Baghdad. He said Washington has been sending military equipment and sharing intelligence with the Iraqis.

He added that more assistance will be forthcoming -- but did not specify just what that assistance might be.

President Obama said that a US partnership with local counter-terror troops, rather than sending in American forces, is his preferred strategy.

However, some said that startegy might not work in Iraq:

Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said: "The problem is the American-Iraqi partnership has been rhetorical only. The United States promised a great deal of assistance to Iraq when we left, and that didn't turn out to be the case.

"In order to justify a withdrawal from Iraq, so many different American generals and politicians had said: 'We've trained these Iraqi security forces, they're good to go.' The question is whether that was just politics or reality. Why did the Iraqi army collapse so quickly? And the reason why that's so important is we're about to do the same thing in Afghanistan."

Meanwhile the administration's facing criticism from Republicans in Congress.

Senator John McCain said that withdrawing all US forces from Iraq back in 2011 was a mistake and that the president should fire "his entire national security team."

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner has lumped Iraq in with the turmoil in Syria and Egypt, saying they are all down to the president's foreign policy failures.

However, lawmakers are not unified on just what the administration should do in Iraq and despite saying that all options are on the table, it is unlikely that President Obama -- who was so keen to disentangle the US from Iraq two years ago -- will want to get closely involved again in a hurry.

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