Taliban fighter talks with residents at the main square, a day after insurgents took control of the strategic northern city of Kunduz. REUTERS/Stringer
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In Iraq, the battle by American-backed government forces against ISIS is at a stalemate.Less than a year and a half after President Barack Obama used a West Point speech to lay out a strategy for relying on local partners instead of large-scale U.S. military deployments abroad, there is mounting evidence that the so-called "Obama Doctrine" may be failing.Obama also appears hemmed in by his deep aversion to seeing America drawn back into unpopular Middle East wars after pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq in 2011 .On Syria, the failure of the U.S. effort to build a rebel fighting force became clear this month when the Pentagon acknowledged just four or five of the fighters were in combat.U.S. officials have pointed to more positive results from military support given to Kurdish peshmerga forces in Iraq as well as Syrian Kurdish fighters on parts of Syria's border with Turkey.Some analysts suggested that even though U.S. warplanes had begun bombing Taliban targets in an effort to take back Kunduz, the U.S. military may not have provided enough support early enough, particularly for airlifting in troops.
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