As top U.S. Army General Ray Odierno is about to resign he gives an exclusive interview with Fox News attributing Islamic State Terror groups rise to President Barack Obama’s premature withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. Obama was all too quick to withdrawal our troops from Iraq and in doing so has allowed for Islamic Terrorist groups to build up their strengths and become a bigger, more dangerous threat. Conservative American’s have been saying Obama’s to blame for Terrorist groups running rampant for a long time, now we have Top Army General Ray Odierno proving our theory.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno served 29 years as a soldier and has spent 4 in years Iraq, more time than any other General. Odierno told Fox News on Wednesday that if President Obama would have allowed U.S. troops to remain in the region the military could have kept Iraq on a positive track.
“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.”
“I think it would have been good for us to stay,” while Odierno was still top commander in Iraq he recommended to Obama to leave 30,000-35,000 U.S. personnel in Iraq — a recommendation that Obama ignored. If Obama would have listened and Iraq’s government would have cooperated some say that the rise of ISIS may have been prevented.
“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.”
Odierno also said he is concerned with the deep cuts to the Army. The cuts to the Army are affecting its ability to do its job. In 2010, the Army had 570,000 soldiers, now it’s down to 490,000 due to budget cuts and political decisions. With emerging threats like Russia and ISIS, cuts to the military could put the U.S. in a very vulnerable spot.
The outgoing general says that the collapse of Iraq and the rise of the Islamic State group made lowered number of troops “a dangerous balancing act right now with capability.” “In my mind, we don’t have the ability to deter. The reason we have a military is to deter conflict and prevent wars. And if people believe we are not big enough to respond, they miscalculate,” Odierno said. Watch.