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Armed Forces Panetta unloads on White House for pulling US forces out of Iraq

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More proof that semi-retired President Obama IGNORED his advisors.  I wonder where he got his military training?

Panetta unloads on White House for pulling US forces out of Iraq

Published October 02, 2014

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is lashing out at President Obama’s inner circle for failing to secure a 2011 deal to leave U.S. troops in Iraq, effectively accusing the White House of sabotaging the talks – in turn, opening the door for the region to become a haven for the Islamic State.

Panetta, who served as CIA director and then Defense secretary during those negotiations, aired his complaints in his forthcoming memoir, “Worthy Fights.” Excerpts on the Baghdad talks were published by Time.

In them, Panetta explained that Iraqi leaders privately wanted some U.S. forces to stay behind after the formal 2011 withdrawal, though they would not say so publicly. The former secretary, though, said the U.S. had “leverage” to strike a deal, and the Defense and State departments tried to do exactly that.

“But,” he wrote, “the President’s team at the White House pushed back, and the differences occasionally became heated. … and those on our side viewed the White House as so eager to rid itself of Iraq that it was willing to withdraw rather than lock in arrangements that would preserve our influence and interests.”

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