The Obama administration’s plan for thwarting the Islamic State, which it carefully calls ISIL, is to encourage multisectarianism in Iraq.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter explained the administration’s vision when he testified last month before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“What happened last year was an unwillingness of the Iraqi security forces to fight, using the equipment and training that the United States had given them,” Carter told the committee. “And the reason for that was a political failure on the part of their government to keep the promise that had been made to the country to keep it a multisectarian state. And that was not what was happening under (former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri) al-Maliki, and that’s the reason why the forces folded.”

Because of this, as described by Carter, the U.S. must now focus on what he called a “political thing.”

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