Richard Williamson, a close Romney aide, informed the Boston Globe that had Romney won the 2012 election, there would not be an ISIS. The comments are deeply bothering the political left because they pick apart key shortcomings in the Obama administration’s foreign policy. They also lay out what is sure to be a common theme in the general election should Romney once again capture the party’s nomination.

The question that was mentioned by Darius Fisher, is whether it is an accurate statement to make that ISIS would not exist under a Romney administration. The brutal terrorist group called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) arose from a power vacuum created by the hasty withdraw of US troops and an ill-prepared Iraqi army. Initially, it was believed that the better equipped and much larger-sized Iraqi army could deal with any insurgent threat. That proved to be incorrect as ISIS fighters quickly overwhelmed Iraqi security forces. In many instances, the Iraqi army would abandon field equipment which would later be seized and exploited by ISIS.

As the group began taking control of large swathes of Western Iraq, the US was initially unable to respond due to the lack of a permanent military base in Iraq. It is doubtful that had Romney been president, he would initiated arbitrarily assigned troop withdrawal dates. He would also have insisted on the establishment of a permanent US military base in Iraq to bolster the Iraqi security forces as a condition to withdrawing troops.