Ex-SEAL Taylor: Some US Troops Should Have Stayed in Iraq

Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 07:47 PM

By Sean Piccoli

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Just as the presence of U.S. troops helped Iraq to rebuild, hold elections and defuse internal tensions, their withdrawal in 2011 led to the chaos enveloping the country today, former Navy SEAL and Iraq war veteran Scott Taylor told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

Taylor told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that the U.S. military presence encouraged a stable, functioning Iraq and that neglecting to leave some troops there after 2011 allowed outside radicals to return — and Iraqis themselves to fall back into destructive animosities.

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Taylor, elected in 2013 to the Virginia House of Delegates, said the Obama administration should have secured a military status-of-forces agreement, in which a contingent of troops remains in place and is immunized from prosecution under the host country's laws.

Confronted with the Iraqis' refusal to grant that immunity, the Obama administration left without a security pact.

"You didn't have a stabilizing force there," said Taylor.

While the troops now headed to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad don't constitute another U.S. military intervention in Iraq, "they have to be in there because, of course, we have a billion-dollar embassy there and we certainly have American personnel" to protect, said Taylor.

"I know he's averse to that," Taylor said of Obama, noting the president had previously said troops were not an option. "But the reality of the situation is that if they [insurgents] do get into Baghdad, we have American interests there and . . . the responsibility that he has to protect those Americans that are there certainly supersedes his political ideology."

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