Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | Iraq

Ex-CIA Operative: Iraqi Forces 'Abandoned Their Posts' at Ramadi

By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 07:33 PM

There's no chance Iraqi forces will be able to reclaim Ramadi from the Islamic State (ISIS), retired CIA clandestine officer Gary Berntsen tells Newsmax TV.

"Clearly, ISIS is making significant gains at the expense of the Iraqi government, who President Obama said was ready to defend itself," Berntsen said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

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"The loss of Ramadi last week was striking. ISIS used … improvised explosive devices at several key locations, which frightened the Iraqi forces and they fled the city.

"The Iraqi forces were at least five times the size of the ISIS people that were attacking them and they abandoned their posts and they fled, which was just shameful and disgraceful," Berntsen said.

Even with regrouping and new vows to fight, Iraqi troops are not going reclaim the key city for now, according to Berntsen.

"As a basic principal of warfare, you want to have three times the number of people attacking a position," he said.

"They couldn't defend the position. Now they're going to assault and take it? I don't think so."

Defense Secretary Ash Carter reaffirmed that when he stated the Iraqis "lacked the will to fight," he added.

Berntsen, author of "Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander," written with Ralph Pezzullo and published by Broadway Books, believes the Obama administration's foreign policies have made the U.S. lose control of the Middle East.

"It is in flames now. In 25 years in my career doing national security work, I've never seen such poor management of national security affairs, a failure to understand by those who are in the White House. It is frightening," Berntsen said.

He also had a warning for Israel, which has had an icy relationship with the White House.

"If I was an Israeli, I would be very, very frightened of what the Obama administration will do at the U.N. in its last three to six months," Berntsen said.

"I would be very frightened that they will cut deals against the state of Israel to create something on the West Bank, which would be difficult to turn back."

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There's no chance Iraqi forces will be able to reclaim Ramadi from the Islamic State, retired CIA clandestine officer Gary Berntsen tells Newsmax TV.
Iraq, forces, ISIS, Ramadi, CIA, officer, Gary Berntsen
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 07:33 PM
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