WASHINGTON — A claim from the second presidential debate and how it stacks up with the facts:
HILLARY CLINTON: “I do think … the use of (U.S. and coalition) enablers and trainers in Iraq, which has had some positive effect, are very much in our interest.”
THE FACTS: She’s right about the positive effect, at least on the Iraqi military. After losing the city of Ramadi to the Islamic State group again in May 2015, the hundreds of U.S. military trainers and advisers have made some gains. It took more than a year, but the program Clinton cited has produced a more competent Iraqi military and set the stage for an Iraqi campaign to retake the northern city of Mosul. That city has been the Islamic State militants’ main stronghold since they swept into Iraq in 2014 almost unopposed by the Iraqi army.
As Clinton’s characterization of the program suggests, it has not been an unqualified success and is expected to require years of additional effort to ensure that the Iraqi military does not collapse as it did in 2014.
Contributed by AP National Security Writer Robert Burns.
EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures