The quickly unfolding drama prompted a White House meeting Wednesday of top policy makers and military leaders who were caught off guard by the swift collapse of Iraqi security forces, officials acknowledged…

Now, current and former officials say Washington’s options for helping the Iraqi army fight back are limited—both because the threat in Iraq is so entrenched and because the U.S. hasn’t invested in building up moderate allies on the Syrian side of the border…

But allies have grown to expect the U.S. to take the lead in counterterrorism efforts around the world, officials say, particularly in the Gulf. “Are they willing to step up?” a senior U.S. official said. “It is possible we are victims of our own leadership.”…

“It makes you want to kill yourself,” a senior U.S. official said of the intelligence on ISIS, which was presented by U.S. and Gulf allies during the May meeting in Jeddah.