The United States hasn't had a clear foreign policy since the end of the Cold War, says former Navy Secretary and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb.
Appearing Sunday on "Meet the Press,"
the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate says America has lacked a clear policy "for a very long time," particularly in the Middle East.
He was critical of former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama for what he called policy mistakes in the region.
Bush's invasion of an Iraq strengthened Iran, he said, and also "unleashed all the sectarian violence" that now has the country torn apart.
But Webb also was critical of Obama's "inadvisable strategy of the Arab Spring." The chaos that has ensued in Libya and Syria are the result, he said.
Webb noted that he warned Obama at the time to have "a clear grasp on where you're going before you leave where you are." He said he also spoke against the concept of a president operating unilaterally in a country such as Libya where America has no treaties and no Americans at risk.
While many of the weapons there are unaccounted for, he said, they are probably in Syria.
And of the complicated three-way conflict in Syria, Webb said that fighters there are "fluid" in declaring allegiances to the Islamic State (ISIS) and what have been termed the more moderate Free Syrian Army rebels. Both groups are fighting the regime of President Bashar Assad, but are officially fighting each other as well.
The United States is helping train Free Syrian Army fighters against ISIS, though there have been conflicting reports that the FSA and ISIS may have struck deals.
"I would be willing to bet that we have people at the top of ISIS who actually have been trained by Americans at some point," Webb said.
Webb also was asked about his presidential aspirations. He declined to compare himself to expected frontrunner Hillary Clinton, but did outline his own agenda that seems to have moved farther left on gay marriage.
He said he is "Taking it one day at a time" on whether he will announce by the end of the year.
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