Outgoing Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno just dropped a bombshell on the American people. This top Army general admitted during an interview exactly what you and I assumed – the creation of the Islamic State (ISIS) can be blamed on President Barack Obama requiring our military scale back efforts in Iraq.
As Odierno explains in a Fox News interview (below), Iraq would be on a track to security and prosperity if America had maintained a larger military presence there. Now, he finds it hard to watch Iraq erupt into violence, largely wiping out the progress made during President George W. Bush’s administration.
“It’s frustrating to watch it,” Odierno said. “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.”
He contends that if the United States had left more troops in the region, ISIS would not have been able to capture large portions of that country or neighboring Syria.
“If we had stayed a little more engaged, I think maybe it might have been prevented,” Odierno told Fox News. “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.”
The outgoing Army chief says that he wanted the United States to keep 30,000-35,000 troops in Iraq, but that his recommendation was not followed.
“I think it would have been good for us to stay,” he said.
After Mosul fell to ISIS last year, Odierno says that the White House did not contact him for input, even though he had commanded troops for a longer time there than anyone else.
Odiernio also sounded the alarm on the massive cuts Obama has made to the number of army troops. They are expected to fall to 450,000… down from 570,000 in 2010. With Russia becoming more hostile and ISIS recruiting a record number of new members, this is hardly the time for America to scale back the military.
What do you think about this bombshell from General Odierno? Please leave us a comment (below) and tell us what you think.