Panetta Told Obama to Leave Troops in Iraq


Another book from a former Obama administration official, and more potential heartburn for the White House.

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta writes about how he and other Pentagon officials tried to persuade the White House that it need to keep a U.S. residual force in Iraq after combat operations ended in 2011.

“My fear, as I voiced to the President and others, was that if the country split apart or slid back into the violence that we’d seen in the years immediately following the U.S. invasion, it could become a new haven for terrorists to plot attacks against the U.S.,” Panetta writes in Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace.

The book comes out Tuesday.

Time magazine is running excerpts from the book by Panetta, who also served as CIA director for Obama.

Panetta writes that “the president’s team at the White House pushed back” on requests to retain some U.S. troops in Iraq, and “and the differences occasionally became heated.”


One didn’t exactly need insider access or a crystal ball to see that this would go sour, so Panetta probably knew while writing the book that his remarks would be timely upon publication.

How curious that an Obama administration alum whose loyalties are to the Clintons would have a book criticizing the president coming out now…


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