U.S. Army General Ray Odierno is about to resign from his position, but not without exposing the truth to the world: he blames the rise of Islamic State Terror groups on President Barack Obama’s premature withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. According to Odierno, this decision allowed Islamic Terrorist groups to build up their strengths and ultimately become a bigger, more dangerous threat.
Gen. Odierno served 29 years as a soldier and spent 4 of those years in Iraq, more time than any other General before him. On Wednesday, Odierno told Fox News that if President Obama had allowed troops to remain in the region, we 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 top commander in Iraq, he recommended that we leave 30,000 to 35,000 US personnel on the ground. That recommendation was ignored.
“If we had stayed a little more engaged, I think maybe it might have been prevented,” Odierno added. “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 expressed his concern for the job cuts we are seeing in the Army, affect its ability to do its job. With emerging threats like Russia, cuts to the military make our country more vulnerable than ever before. Odierno described our current state as “a dangerous balancing act right now with capability.”