Carter Criticizes Obama's ISIS Strategy: 'We Waited Too Long'
Even former President Jimmy Carter now thinks President Obama dropped the ball on dealing with ISIS.
In a new interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Carter said it was hard to figure out exactly what President Obama’s policy is in the Middle East.
“It changes from time to time,” Carter said. “I noticed that two of his secretaries of defense, after they got out of office, were very critical of the lack of positive action on the part of the president.”
...Carter acknowledged that the ISIS situation is complicated and he thinks the U.S. waited too long to respond.
“First of all, we waited too long. We let the Islamic state build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria,” he said. “Then when [ISIS] moved into Iraq, the Sunni Muslims didn’t object to their being there and about a third of the territory in Iraq was abandoned.”
Carter sees some hope for the current American policy against ISIS in Iraq where troops on the ground will follow up after air strikes.
“If we keep on working in Iraq and have some ground troops to follow up when we do our bombing, there is a possibility of success.”
No such ground troops are available in Syria at the moment, he said.
“You have to have somebody on the ground to direct our missiles and to be sure you have the right target,” Carter said. “Then you have to have somebody to move in and be willing to fight ISIS after the strikes.”
Carter's comments come in the same week that former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unleashed a wave of criticism in conjunction with the release of his new book, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace.
Panetta’s book notes that Obama too often ”relies on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader” and sometimes he “avoids the battle, complains, and misses opportunities.”