A former US Special Forces commander in Iraq and Afghanistan has said that the Iraq war was a “huge error” that helped to create ISIS.
Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, who was the country’s highest ranking military intelligence official, was asked by reporters from German Newspaper Der Spiegel whether the Islamic State wouldn’t be where it is now without the fall of Baghdad. He said without reservation “Yes, absolutely.”
Flynn said: “As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him.”
The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.
Flynn, who served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years, also criticised the American military’s response following 9/11, saying it was poorly thought-out at all and was based on significant misunderstandings.
Instead of trying to understand why America had been attacked, the Bush administration were looking for groups to attack, Flynn said.
The US invaded Iraq in 2003 on the belief that evidence linked weapons of mass destruction and the terrorist organization Al Qaeda to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Hussein’s removal resulted in a power vacuum in the region that ISIS have taken advantage of.
In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, Flynn criticised the Obama administration’s handling of the ISIS crisis saying:
We may cause it to change its name, but we are never going to destroy this organization, destroy means to completely eliminate he should not have used those words, those were incorrect words to use and he should have been more precise.
After the terrible attacks in Paris earlier this month, Flynn also said that the Obama administration’s foreign policy is “amateurish” and has “its own place of responsibility in the mayhem that we are seeing right now.”