U.S. Spy Agencies Warned Maliki Was "Alienating" Iraq's Sunnis

Friday, 20 Jun 2014 04:45 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly warned top government officials that Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki and his policies were gravely antagonizing his country's Sunni population, two U.S. security officials said on Friday.

The officials said the warnings were contained in secret intelligence reports and analyses presented in the last two years to White House officials, including President Barack Obama.

The reports concluded that Maliki and his government were creating so much animosity among Iraq's Sunnis that this would empower and embolden violent militant groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Obama is sending 300 military advisers to Iraq to help stop the offensive by the Sunni Islamic State jihadist army and is demanding a more inclusive government in Baghdad.

But he has stopped short of calling for the replacement of Maliki, who took over in 2006 during ferocious Sunni-Shiite violence three years after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

Intelligence agencies explicitly warned that Maliki's policies in recent years "alienated the Sunni population and gave (the jihadists) space to operate," said a senior intelligence official, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information.

Spy agencies also warned that Maliki was "failing to reconcile differences festering" between Iraq's rival Muslim communities and said that all of Iraq's leaders needed to do more to address the growing sectarian tensions, the senior intelligence official said.

This contrasted with public comments by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who in his annual presentation to Congress on "worldwide threats" in January made only bland references to religious tensions in Iraq.

 

Clapper said that Iraq's national elections this April would be a "pivotal event."

"The Sunni population in particular must be convinced that the elections will be fair in order to keep them committed to the political process and help check Iraq's rising violence," he said.

Clapper added that Syria's protracted civil war was "destabilizing Iraq, hardening ethno-sectarian attitudes and raising concerns about the spillover of violence."

The presentation did not mention Maliki by name or say that his government had contributed to the alienation of Sunnis, although warnings in classified reports by U.S. agencies were intensifying about that time, the security officials said.

U.S. officials have been worried about Maliki's sectarian approach to governing and lack of action to reconcile with Sunnis since not long after he took office.

A former U.S. intelligence official said that while CIA director in 2006, retired General Michael Hayden told policymakers in briefings that Washington would be "asking a lot of Maliki and in one sense he's going to have to govern beyond his life experience."

The former official said that President George W. Bush held personal videoconferences every 10 days or so with Maliki to offer guidance. Obama stopped such conferences after he took office in 2009, the official said.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Early Results Show Scots Vote Against Independence

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 22:37 PM

Early returns Friday showed Scotland voting against declaring independence from the United Kingdom. . . .

Poll: Support for Scottish Independence at 46 Percent

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 17:50 PM

Support for Scottish independence amounts to 46 percent of the electorate with 54 percent wanting to stay in the United  . . .

U.S. Separatists Watching With Glee as Scots Vote

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 13:55 PM

As Scottish voters weigh in on national independence, separatist groups inside the United States are nodding in approval . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved