Lt. Col. Russell: US Should Approach Iraq With Other Nations

Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 02:01 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Lt. Col. Steve Russell, who served in Iraq and helped capture Saddam Hussein, says President Barack Obama should handle the Iraq crisis collectively by working with other nations, not by trying to go it alone.

"We have to approach any solution about this collectively, and I'm concerned that the president is trying to act in these situations with Iraq unilaterally," the retired military officer told J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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"That's not the approach we need to take because these radials with ISIS, they are declaring a new territory that really transcends territory from three existing sovereign states," he explained.

"That's a problem. You can't have a terrorist type entity that is promoting that they are going to take over. It could upset the sovereignty of several nations and it would certainly upset the world's economy from that region."

The congressional candidate from Oklahoma said it's not unusual to make efforts "to secure our own embassy and our interests there," but if the United States is going to offer any military aid to Iraq, "we need to tie all of the instruments of national power ... to Prime Minister [al-Nouri] Maliki's power sharing."

"He was elected," Russell explained. "They have so many days to form a new government, and all of this needs to be communicated where it says, look, you have to go out, you have to allow the Sunni Arabs to have redress in the political process.

"They need to have parliamentary leadership positions in proportion to their numbers," he added. "They need to have cabinet posts; you need to put a coalition government together.

"Maliki has shown no desire to do that, and we have not shown the courage and the force to say that 'you must do this,' and therein lies the problem."


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