A Marine veteran in Congress is blasting President Obama's Iraq policy after a comrade he served alongside was killed by the Islamic State group.
As a result, Moulton said the Iraqis are now "re-fighting the same battles" U.S. troops fought 10 years ago.
"The terrible tragedy of Ehab's death [is that] he died fighting a battle we had already won," he said.
Moulton had been in the first company of Marines to enter Baghdad in 2003. The platoon commander partnered with the Iraqi Army during the Battle of Najaf one year later, but the friendship struck with a young Iraqi captain in Al Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad, proved memorable. Moshen was again instrumental in Moulton's fourth Iraq tour in 2007.
'We need a long-term political plan'
Specifically, it demands a detailed political strategy for transition to an interim government with internationally monitored elections; political reform and reconciliation between ethnic groups and political parties that includes a plan for passage of national guard legislation, repeal of de-Baathification laws, and a plan for equitable petroleum revenue sharing with the Kurdistan Regional Government; and a critical assessment of the current size, structure, and operating budget of the Iraqi Security Forces.
"People on both sides of the aisle recognize that we need a long-term political plan so that we don't keep sending our troops and our allies' troops to die for a mission that is unclear, for a cause that doesn't have an end game," Moulton said.
Moulton, who has been to Iraq twice since being elected to Congress in 2014, was quick to add that he doesn't see the military's strategy in Iraq as the problem, despite comments made by presidential candidates.
"The military has a strong plan to defeat ISIS, and it is going quite well," Moulton said. "ISIS has not gained any territory in Iraq since May of last year, so those who are advocating for more bombs or troops on the ground are completely missing the point.
Lance M. Bacon is senior reporter for Marine Corps Times. He covers Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Marine Corps Forces Command, personnel / career issues, Marine Corps Logistics Command, II MEF, and Marine Forces North. He can be reached at email@example.com.