Send back troops to Iraq, Cheney says

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said he wants U.S. troops back in Iraq to halt Sunni militants now conquering large parts of the country and support resistance fighters in Syria.

“When we’re arguing over 300 advisors, when the request had been for 20,000 in order to do the job right, I’m not sure we’ve really addressed the problem,” said Cheney on ABC’s “This Week.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Recently, President Obama announced sending 300 special forces troops to Iraq to advise the Iraqi government on fighting back an offensive by the Islamic State in Iraq in Syria (ISIS). The president, however, insisted the troops would not engage in direct combat themselves.

Cheney told ABC’s Jonathan Karl he also wants the U.S. to arm and train the Syrian resistance that is fighting ISIS in order hit them in their own “back yard.”

Karl, however, pointed out that many of Cheney’s critics have criticized him for his stance for going to war in Iraq in 2003 and questioned why they should listen to him now.

“I was a strong supporter of going into Iraq then, I’m a strong supporter now, everybody knows what my position is,” said the former vice president. “But if we spend our time debating what happened 11 or 12 years ago, we’re going to miss the threat that is growing.”

Cheney warned Obama’s overall foreign policy is flawed and he doesn’t “understand the nature of the threat.”

He warned that as U.S. troops have withdrawn or are withdrawing from places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorist groups such as ISIS are starting to gain in strength.

“Iraq is not the whole problem. We’ve got a much bigger problem than just the current crisis in Iraq,” said Cheney.

He pointed to a recent attack by the Pakistani Taliban forces on the main airport in Karachi, Pakistan.

Cheney says he’s worried that as troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan the U.S. won’t be able to stop terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear weapons in neighboring Pakistan.

“One of the things I worried about 12 years ago and that I worry about today is there will be another 9/11 attack and that the next time it will be with weapons far deadlier than airline tickets and boxcutters,” he added.