During his time on Meet The Press with Chuckie Todd, James Baker fondly remembers how we built a coalition in 1991 to "accomplish something," in the Middle East. There wasn't any question about our resolve in THAT particular conflict. Mind you, we employed 500,000 U.S. troops along with hundreds of thousands of coalition forces, so the scale of the operation was much more dramatic than The President's current "strategy." In 1991, we weren't a war-weary country, at war for thirteen years at that point in time. Baker says he's "not suggesting that we get into another ground war," except he really is suggesting just that.
Even though President Obama has already committed various Special Ops Forces to the region and has plans to degrade and destroy ISIL, Baker and Todd both claim he doesn't have any such plan, facts be damned. In the first Iraq War, Baker incorporated Syria into the coalition, controversial as they were at that time.
Baker cautions the "Evil Empire" nation of Iran, who also views ISIL as the enemy, should not be recruited because it shows a clear favoritism of Shi'a versus Sunni. The Sunni group, ISIL, is on a rampage to annihilate any non-Sunni Muslims and befriending Iran in the never-ending Muslim holy war between the two sects would send the wrong message. Baker doesn't state the obvious, but we all know the allegiance the U.S. has to maintain with the likely funders of ISIL, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
We get it, Baker and Todd. President Obama is not a member of the Chicken-hawk War Party. Republicans know exactly how to wage war in the Middle East without pissing off the Sunni Kingdoms whom own so much of GOP-TV (which includes MTP). This way, these Sunni nations can continue to fund terrorism, much like they did with Al Qaeda, and play both sides in an inevitably lucrative, long-term conflict. Baker says we need to get every single country together, along with China, the EU and Russia to battle these guys effectively. These nations are generally so cooperative, it should be a cinch. By claiming this lofty requirement as a strategic necessity, the Republicans can guarantee the president is failing, every step of the way.
On a positive note, Baker did assert that Bush 43's decision to "take out" Saddam Hussein was a bad one, which basically opened Pandora's Box. They knew this very nightmare of ISIL was imminent if there was no central leader to hold the many ethnic groups of the region together.
But this assertion was quickly followed by listing the "mistakes" of the president. The failure to leave a residual army in Iraq (which the treaty Bush signed in 2008 forbid) was one of the causes, the other being the president's failure to arm some of the Syrian rebels (who likely formed ISIL anyway). So these mistakes weren't really mistakes at all, but it's not Chuck Todd's job to point out mistakes. Republican lies have, and will continue to be, someone else's problem.