Allen West pointed out that ISIS is currently operating in the open with little resistance. “When you look at these pictures of ISIS, and the fact they are having daytime parades through Ramadi, or they’re transiting through these cities in broad daylight, not a cloud in the sky, something is wrong,”
Barbara Hollingsworth for CNS News Writes:
President Obama’s decision to ignore his generals’ recommendations and withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq, leaving behind a power vacuum that is being exploited by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is “probably the greatest military blunder the world will ever know,” Lt. Col. Allen West (Army-Retired) told CNSNews.com.
Last week, Obama admitted at a G-7 summit in Germany that the U.S. still lacks a “complete strategy” for training Iraqi forces to defeat ISIS.
But West, who served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, says that the commander-in-chief needs to admit he made a mistake before he can turn the volatile situation in Iraq around.
“And I think one of the most important things is the president needs to stand up and be forthright and say he got it wrong. That’s the start to having an effective strategy, is admit that he had it wrong in the first place… Getting it wrong is a president that probably made the greatest military blunder that the world will ever know,” the former congressman said.
“We can’t put the genie back in the bottle, but the Obama administration should have listened to [Army] Gen. [Lloyd] Austin when he was the operational commander on the ground. He requested between 10,000 to 12,000 troops as a residual force. The result is that President Obama based his national security strategy on campaign promises and not on the reality on the ground. Right now, President Obama needs to listen to his generals and we need to understand how we can truly get in and defeat ISIS.”
CNSNews.com asked West what he thought were the chances that Obama would admit he made a strategic mistake in Iraq.
“Zero, because we’re dealing with an intransigent ideologue,” he replied.
“So there is no strategy that talks about diplomatic pressure, there is no strategy that talks about how we economically isolate ISIS, there’s no strategy to talk about on the ground how we will be able to – on a multiple front now, not just in Iraq, not just in Syria, but now we know also in Libya – how we’re going to be able to defeat the Islamic State. “
Obama’s latest plan to send 450 American troops to Iraq is “the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a sucking chest wound,” added West, who is now president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).
“First of all, it is not a strategy,” he told CNSNews.com. “You’re just sending another 450 troops in there and it’s a band-aid, it’s a façade of pretending to do something.”
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