Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Former Secretary of Defense Just Dropped a Bombshell That Barack Obama is Going to Hate

Leon Panetta, former secretary of defense and CIA director under President Barack Obama, has said that the president is largely responsible for the current state of Iraq.
In “Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace,” Panetta describes his concerns about leaving Iraq without a residual military force to help train and bolster the Iraqi army. The book, Panetta’s memoir, is due to be released on Oct. 7, and was previewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
   The former secretary of defense said that it was clear to him as 2011 drew to a close and the United States had ceased active combat operations in Iraq that “withdrawing all our forces would endanger the fragile stability” of Iraq, allowing the country to become a “new haven” for terrorists.
He said that many others in the Obama administration thought the same way.
But, Panetta said, the White House was “so eager to rid itself of Iraq that it was willing to withdraw” without leaving behind anything that might help to guarantee the nation’s stability — despite the president’s claims at the time.
   What the nation needed was Obama’s leadership to negotiate a Status of Forces agreement that would give legal protection to troops left in Iraq. Internal political turmoil made such an agreement impossible without White House leadership, Panetta said.                                                                   That leadership was never forthcoming.
Click here to watch the video of George W. Bush predicting the rise of the Islamic State that went viral so quickly that it broke records at Fox News.
Panetta said that the United States had options it could have used to force a deal — threatening to “withdraw reconstruction aid,” for example.
But the president never actively engaged in efforts to broker a deal, and the opportunity slipped away.
“To this day,” Panetta concluded, “I believe that a small U.S. troop presence in Iraq could have effectively advised the Iraqi military on how to deal with al-Qaeda’s resurgence and the sectarian violence that has engulfed the country.”
Panetta is hardly the first person to blame the destabilization of Iraq on President Barack Obama; he’s not even the first senior politician to do so.
The question is, what happens now? Iraq is only growing less stable, and Obama seems no more willing to take advice from his senior staff then he ever was.
If Obama remains insistent on surrounding himself with friends and not subject matter experts, there’s no reason to expect his decisions to become any better.

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