President Barack Obama and his top advisers lack the necessary knowledge of Middle East politics, resulting in decisions that are endangering America and the world, according to retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North.
"There is nobody who knows anything about that part of the world in the government of the United States anymore," North said.
In addition to operating under a foreign policy mantra of "too late, too little, but better than nothing," the Obama administration's collaboration with Iran is highly ill-advised, North said on Newsmax TV
's "America's Forum."
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"The danger today is that we're going to team up with the Iranians," North said. "That to me is a far greater problem because the Iranians are not our friends. They are our enemies, and they intend great harm to us. They are committed."
Over the past three weeks, North said, Secretary of State John Kerry has been secretly meeting with the Iranians in Vienna, drafting an international agreement to permanently lift all sanctions against Iran.
"They're going to allow UN inspectors to come in, and the UN inspectors will not find any nuclear weapons, and the Iranians are going to pledge not to build them, and they are going to get nuclear weapons," North said, pointing out that what's happening mirrors the plot of his new novel, "Counterfeit Lies."
"They're going to do it with counterfeits and lies," he said. "Unfortunately, we're selling down the river our own ally in that part of the world and that's Jerusalem in Israel. We're selling down the river those who are friendly to the United States and it's not everybody, by any stretch of the imagination, in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates. And we're selling down the river the Jordanians and what all of that means is that the United States, still known as the Great Satan, is going to get the threat of a proliferation of nuclear weapons. Not just the Iranians, but everybody else is going to build their own to protect themselves."
Obama's legacy will leave the world a "much, much more dangerous place," according to North.
"You're going to see the United States have a very difficult time rebuilding its relationships with its allies because our allies don't trust us and our enemies don't respect or even fear us."
Former CIA officer and author Fred Rustmann, who joined North later in the program, agreed that the drawdown of forces in the Middle East endangers the world.
"This drawdown is going to destroy our capabilities there, particularly in terms of intelligence collection, particularly on the tactical side," said Rustmann, the chairman and founder of private intelligence agency CTC International Group.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), "which of course is an offshoot of al-Qaida in Iraq, is gobbling up territory in enormous amounts of territory," Rustmann said. "This is a real war, this is not — what we've been doing before is a bit of an insurgency. This is all-out war with fixed targets, with convoys, with fixed installations which we could take out in a heartbeat. We're not going to be able to do it because we haven't got the tactical intelligence on the ground."
ISIS is the most radical of all the Sunni terror organizations that has ever existed, according to North, who said Obama needs to get all Americans out of Iraq and put some human intelligence – not just technology – on the ground there.
"The last thing in the world America needs is the visual of one of those captured Special Forces guys … being beheaded because that's what they will do. It's not going to be a hostage situation like [Sgt. Bowe] Bergdahl," he explained.
If ISIS is able to form a caliphate — an all-Islamic state — it will "become a much more effective and efficient place to train terrorists for attacks against the United States than anything that al-Qaida ever had in Afghanistan," he said.
ISIS's plans are plain and simple, he said. Establish a caliphate, attack America, and capture and behead Americans on the Internet "because it's dramatic and effective psychological warfare."
Meanwhile, Rustmann said he is confident that Israeli intelligence operatives will "fill the void" when it comes to working in Iraq and Iran.
"We can debate whether we should have gone into Iraq in the first place, the weapons of mass destruction, the whole nine yards, but we did and we won," said Rustmann. "Now we're walking away from it and so I kind of agree Ollie North, that it's over. We really shouldn't be in there anymore. We've got to get out of there."
However, the United States needs to support Israel, and the country also needs the Middle East's oil.
"Take away those two things, we could just leave and it wouldn't matter. But we have to stay because of Israel and because of the oil," he said. "So we're going to have to hang in there, and at this point I don't know what the best solution is."
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