A senior Department of Defense official says President Obama and his administration are giving the public inaccurate information about his foreign policy strategy, particularly with regards to Iraq.
Joseph Miller, the pseudonym for a ranking Department of Defense official who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, wrote in The Daily Caller Tuesday, partially in reaction to a statement released by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest which said that the decision for American military forces to leave Iraq “was predicated on the will of the Iraqi security forces to fight for their country.”
Miller said this was “not true.”
“In 2010, General Lloyd Austin, then-commander of the United States Forces in Iraq, directly informed the president that over 20,000 U.S. troops would be required to maintain the gains made by U.S. forces against al-Qaeda and its affiliates, and to mentor the fledgling Iraqi security forces- because he knew they were not ready to go out on their own.
“But in order for Austin’s plan to work, the United States would have to negotiate and sign a security agreement with the government of Iraq to give the U.S. legal authority to keep U.S. military forces in that country beyond December 2010.
“The White House claims they were forced to withdraw because then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to grant U.S. forces serving in Iraq post 2010 immunity from Iraqi prosecution–a prerequisite for the presence of U.S. forces anywhere else in the world.”
Miller continues by noting Obama’s team did not “seriously negotiate” with the Iraqis, and chose to claim the withdrawal a political victory ahead of the 2012 election.
“Instead of investing any time in negotiating the agreement, the Obama Administration used the Maliki regime’s refusal to grant immunity as a political out for withdrawing all U.S. combat forces from Iraq by the end of 2010.
“That saw the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces and the end of Operation New Dawn, the successor to Operation Iraqi Freedom. It also saw the rise of ISIS, and brings us to where we are today.”
Miller also referenced President Obama’s blaming of the intelligence community for underestimating The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) during an interview aired Sunday on 60 minutes, when the President said “they underestimated” rather than ‘we underestimated.’
“But we know that isn’t true, as nearly a dozen administration officials have testified to the threat posed by ISIS publicly over the last year.”
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