Leon Panetta blames Obama for Iraq crisis
(CNN) – President Obama’s former Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, is giving his two cents on how the administration has handled Iraq.
Panetta says if the white house had listened to his advice on U.S. troop levels in Iraq, the country’s security situation may not have unraveled.
The opinion comes in his upcoming autobiography, due out next week, from which Time magazine published excerpts.
President Obama announced in October 2011 that virtually all of the 39,000 U.S. troops in Iraq would leave the country by the end of that year.
Panetta says he argued behind the scenes and publicly for a small amount of troops to be left for additional training for Iraq’s military.
He writes that the ISIS offensive in 2014 greatly increases the risk that iraq will become Al-Qaeda’s next safe haven.
Panetta served as Secretary of Defense from 2011 until 2013.