Tags: Barack Obama | Donald Trump | Hillary Clinton | Homeland Security | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism

Ex-CIA Director, General Pins ISIS on Former Iraq P.M. al-Maliki

(PBS's "Charlie Rose")

By    |   Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 07:15 PM

David Petraeus disputes Donald Trump's assertion that President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are to blame for the rise of ISIS – pointing instead to the policies of Iraq's former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. 

In an interview on PBS's "Charlie Rose" show Wednesday night, the former CIA director and four-star general didn't mention the president or Democratic nominee by name, saying "I'm not partisan."

"I will comment on the facts," he said. "And the facts are that the real cause of the rise of ISIS was the alienation of the Sunni Arab community in Iraq, which again created this opportunity for the Islamic State to get support within the Sunni Arab . . . by Maliki" when ISIS stormed across Iraq in 2014.

Nor did he support Trump's view last year the warring parties ought to be left to fight it out.

"Before you say, 'Well let them fight it out, this is a Middle East problem, you know, they've never gotten along together,' — let's remember that this is a region that doesn't play by Las Vegas rules," Petraeus said. "What happens in the Middle East does not stay in the Middle East."

"It spews out, and in this case the tsunami of refugees from Syria into Europe has caused the most significant domestic political challenges for the leaders of our most important European allies and partners that they've experienced in decades."

Petraeus, who commanded U.S. troops in Iraq during the 2007-2008 surge, said he would "have liked to have seen 10,000 troops stay [in Iraq], without question" – an issue on which Republicans have criticized Obama.

"What it would have done is we would have had bases, infrastructure, communications, satellite shots, all the rest of that, so that we could have very rapidly reinserted forces into Iraq when it was clear that we needed to support the Iraqi Security Forces to prevent the Islamic State from taking Baghdad, Erbil and so forth," he said. 

The Obama administration took too long to act, he said.

"Time matters when you're fighting an enemy like the Islamic State," he said. "The sooner you can show that the Islamic State is a loser, is the sooner it is no longer as effective."  

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David Petraeus disputes Donald Trump's assertion that President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are to blame for the rise of ISIS – pointing instead to the policies of Iraq's former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, isis, policies
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2016-15-29
Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 07:15 PM
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