Gen. David Petraeus Blames Iraq's Maliki for Rise of ISIS

Image: Gen. David Petraeus Blames Iraq's Maliki for Rise of ISIS

Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014 08:21 AM

By Elliot Jager

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Retired U.S. Army general and former CIA Director David Petraeus held Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki responsible for the upheaval in his country.

Speaking Monday at the Aspen Institute, Petraeus told veteran CBS journalist Bob Schieffer that Maliki betrayed the commitments he had made to reconcile the country's Shiite majority with its Sunni minority.

Petraeus does not expect Baghdad to fall to Sunni insurgents, but how and when the central government can retake the areas it lost is an open question.

"The 18 percent Sunni minority felt they could not trust the government. They had a stake in the failure of the new Iraq rather than in its success," Petraeus said. The Kurds also lost faith in Maliki.

Asked if ISIS was a bolt of out the blue, Petraeus replied: "I think people who have watched this closely — and I've been one of them — have seen this coming."

For months, ISIS could be seen carrying out both military operations and targeted assassinations of its opponents.

"So this was something you could see coming," he said.

No one really expected that the government's security forces would not be able to handle what was "at the end of the day" a "capable" but not a large ISIS force.

"What I think did surprise people" was how some Iraqi commanders simply got on helicopters and flew away rather than stand up to ISIS, he said.

Now ISIS is a threat not just to Iraq but to America's allies in the Gulf and in Europe and even in Australia and "increasingly, perhaps, to the homeland," Petraeus said.

Summing up what he saw as a three-fold threat, Petraeus pointed to ISIS as a danger to Iraq's territorial integrity and as a menace to Europe and the U.S. homeland from returning jihadists.

No less important was the danger of Iranian hegemony in the Middle East. The Iranians want to extend their control over Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, he said.

The United States was already doing a lot of what can be done. Washington is developing a clearer intelligence picture. It is employing drones. The United States needs to be careful not to become the air force for one side of a sectarian struggle. Airstrikes would only be valuable with enough intelligence that would hurt ISIS while avoiding collateral damage, he said.

Washington should support an inclusive government that reverses it sectarian orientation. While respecting Iraq's sovereignty, U.S. diplomats on the ground are encouraging precisely this process,  Petraeus said.

The former general has been working for KKR Global Consulting, appearing on the speaking circuit, and teaching. The Aspen Ideas Festival was one of a number of public appearances Petraeus has recently made. He resigned as CIA chief after an extramarital affair with his biographer came to light in 2012.

His 37-year military career included serving as commander in Iraq and Afghanistan and commander of the U.S. Central Command.

Related Stories:


© 2014 Newsmax. 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

Former Obama Official: Climate Change Not 'Settled' Science

Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 18:11 PM

A former high-ranking Obama administration official says climate science and the implications of global warming are not  . . .

Jindal: Obama Administration 'Science Deniers'

Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 17:43 PM

The White House is full of science deniers who are keeping the United States from becoming energy independent, says Lo . . .

Big Romney Backer Predicts He'll Run Again in '16

Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 16:41 PM

One of Mitt Romney's biggest backers on Wall Street during the 2012 presidential race says the former Massachusetts gove . . .

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