Outgoing Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno finally feels comfortable enough to speak his mind on the situation in Iraq, but the Obama administration might not like what he had to say.
Gen. Odierno is just a few weeks out from retiring and recently sat down for an interview with Fox News where he covered a host of military topics and discussed the future of our nation’s military. However, I think the part of the interview that most Americans will remember (and that hopefully the media will focus on) is Odierno’s decision to give a frank assessment of the situation in Iraq.
Speaking to the problems that have developed in Iraq over the last few years, and focusing particularly on the rise of ISIS, Odierno notes that things didn’t have to turn out the way they did.
In fact, Odierno believes that the military and the government of Iraq had things well in hand back in 2010 and on their way to doing good things… but then the Obama administration called our soldiers home.
“It’s frustrating to watch it. I go back to the work we did in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 and we got it to a place that was really good. Violence was low, the economy was growing, politics looked like it was heading in the right direction.”
Odierno then seemed to blame the Obama administration and the political situation here at home for the problems that blossomed after our military left Iraq.
“If we had stayed a little more engaged, I think maybe it might have been prevented. I’ve always believed the United States played the role of honest broker between all the groups and when we pulled ourselves out, we lost that role.”
Odierno warned of this back in 2009 when he recommended to the White House that we keep a large contingent stationed in Iraq to offer support. When asked directly if he thought that pulling out of Iraq was a mistake the General replied, “I think it would have been good for us to stay.”
Once again someone who should know is blaming the Obama administration for a major world calamity. It’s not just us conservatives.
The entire interview is well worth watching and Odierno covers a variety of other important topics like the Iran deal, the danger of cutting our military and tensions in Europe.