Former President George W. Bush spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California recently and gave a word of counsel to President Donald Trump about foreign policy. As Bush spoke you could not only hear his advice to Trump, but also a criticism of former President Barack Obama and for the way he pulled troops from Iraq prematurely.
The 43rd president warned of what can happen when U.S. presence is taken from a country unable to take care of itself, he called it “isolationist tendencies.” Bush also highlighted the lessons the U.S. has learned, “when the United States decides not to take the lead and withdraw.”
“This may be taken as a criticism of one of my successors and I don’t really mean it to be. There is a lesson, however, when the United States decides not to take the lead and withdraw,” Bush told the audience.
“Vacuums can be created when U.S. presence recedes and that vacuum is generally filled with people who don’t share the ideology, the same sense of human rights and human dignity and freedom that we do,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Obama’s choices have been second guessed, many critics and analysts have brought up Obama’s foreign policy as partly to blame for the rise of the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq. The argument is that when U.S. troops were withdrawn from the country it was left unstable and available for the terrorist groups to gain access and rise in power.
Former President Bush is not the only high-ranking person to criticize Obama’s decision in the military. In 2015, Lt. General Michael Flynn, former defense chief under the Obama singled out the Obama administration for allegedly openly ignoring vital information in the interest of securing a second chance for re-election.
“I think the narrative was that al-Qaeda was on the run, and (Osama) bin Laden was dead,” Flynn told CNN NEWS, referring to the years leading up to the re-election in 2012, adding Obama pushed the idea to the public that: “They’re dead and these guys [with ISIS]are, we’ve beaten them.”
With President Trump in office, he has pledged to show great strength in the battle against ISIS. He also joins the list of critics who say Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq is the largest factor responsible for the rise of ISIS.
Last August during a rally in Ohio, Trump told supporters that, “The rise of ISIS is the direct result of policy decisions made by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.” “The decisions made by the Obama/Clinton group have been absolutely disastrous,” he said.
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