There is a "reasonable chance" that Iraq may be able to make progress in its fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stepped down, says Gen. Michael Hayden, former National Security Agency and CIA director.
"With Maliki still in power, no progress is possible," Hayden told "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV
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"With Maliki out of power, it may still be that no progress is possible, but at least now you’ve got a reasonable chance to get some things off center," he said.
"Out there on the edge of desirable, but probably low likelihood, is that we end up with three regions — each of them now looking like the Kurdish region," Hayden said.
"The Kurdish autonomous region conducts an awful lot of their own affairs, the former CIA director said. "If we can get to that, we call that a win, but even that is going to be very hard to do, let alone getting a unitary Iraq."
Hayden said the Kurds will be able to stop ISIS, but they will need some help.
"They actually were living a bit on a 'puffed-up' reputation because they have fought well in the past, but hadn’t actually had to fight a good opposing force recently," he said
"Someone described them as kind of a check-point army and unfortunately that was about true," he said.
Hayden said that "you will not talk to an American who served in northern Iraq, intelligence or military, who doesn’t like the Kurds and think the Kurds can deliver."
"If we establish the right kind of relationship with them, maybe a little guiding, maybe a little indirect power support, they stand just fine."
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