Retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West pulls no punches when talking about the Islamic State’s rise to power, saying President Barack Obama’s decision to pull troops out of Iraq was “probably the greatest military blunder the world will ever know.”
Obama’s decision to ignore his generals’ recommendations for a residual force and instead withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq left behind a power vacuum that was easy for the Islamic State (ISIS) to exploit, West says.
West told CNS News the decision was the worst possible option for the security of Iraq.
“I think one of the most important things is the president needs to stand up and be forthright and say he got it wrong,” said West. “That’s the start to having an effective strategy, is admit that he had it wrong in the first place.”
Obama’s military strategy in Iraq has been largely dictated by politics rather than strategy or military threats, West said.
“President Obama based his national security strategy on campaign promises and not on the reality on the ground,” West said.
He was equally unimpressed when it came to Obama’s strategy to defeat ISIS. When asked about the 450 U.S. troops the president plans to send to Iraq, he said it would be ineffective against ISIS.
“It’s the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a sucking chest wound,” West told CNS News. “It is not a strategy… it’s a façade of pretending to do something.”