US Spy Agencies Warned Maliki Was 'Alienating' Iraq's Sunnis

Friday, 20 Jun 2014 04:43 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
U.S. intelligence agencies 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 policymaking 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 militant ISIS and is demanding a more inclusive government be formed 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.

Intelligence agencies explicitly warned that Maliki's policies in recent years "alienated the Sunni population and gave ISIS 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.

 

SECTARIAN APPROACH

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

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:
Retype 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
You May Also Like

Rush Limbaugh: Blame Defense Dept. for Militarization of Police

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 15:34 PM

While press and politicos bewail the militarization of police, as seen in images from Ferguson, Missouri, showing milita . . .

Holder: 'Change Is Coming' after Police Shooting

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 15:27 PM

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reassured college students Wednesday in suburban St. Louis, a few miles from where 18- . . .

British Fighter Appears to Have Role in Beheading

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 10:26 AM

The black-clad Islamic militant fighter filmed in the beheading of American journalist James Foley appears to be British . . .

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