Top Dem: ISIS fight at a 'stalemate'

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Defense: GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | Senate opens Trump trial | Pentagon to resume training Saudi students soon Schiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Harris calls for Parnas to testify at Senate trial MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday said the U.S. is breaking even against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“I don’t think we’re winning, but I wouldn’t say we’re losing either,” the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee told host Bob Schieffer on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”


“I think it’s something of a neutral stalemate,” he said. “I think there’s an ebb and flow.”

Schiff said some were doubting America’s strategy against ISIS, given last weekend’s fall of Ramadi, a key Iraqi city ISIS captured on May 17.

“I think the loss of Ramadi was a very serious setback,” Schiff said.

“We won Ramadi, but it didn’t stay won,” he added of U.S. efforts to capture the population center during the last Iraq War.

Schiff said that the 2003 invasion of Iraq had revealed the frailty of Iraq’s coalition government.

It needed major improvements, he added, before it can successfully repel ISIS forces.

“I don’t think we can fight this fight for the Iraqis,” Schiff said.

“I think that’s the real lesson of the last Iraq War and what’s going on now,” he said.

“I think we still have a lot of work to get the Iraqi government to peel the Sunnis away from ISIS,” Schiff added.

Schiff said that Iraq could better represent its Sunni Muslim population in both its government and military.

He added that appealing to Shia Muslims for help, particularly Iran, would only inflame divisions between the two sects there.

“I think bringing in Shia militias is the wrong answer,” Schiff said. “That will only aggravate those sectarian tensions.”

Schiff called on other Islamic nations to help counter the appeal of ISIS propaganda among the world’s Muslims.

“More broadly, we need help from our Gulf allies in the ideological struggle against this perversion of Islam,” he said.

Schiff said that regardless of the solution, the Obama administration could not stop countering ISIS’s power overseas.

“If ISIS is able to hold that ground unmolested, there’s no questions they have aspirations to attack the U.S.,” he said of the terrorist organization’s holdings in Iraq and Syria.

“It is a threat to our security,” Schiff added.