The United States needs to move quickly to internationalize its efforts in Iraq to combat Islamic extremists, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad said Sunday.
"I think one of the things we need to do is to move quickly to internationalize the effort" by working with Turkey, European allies and even some Arab nations, Khalilzad said on CNN's "State of the Union."Khalilzad, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations under President George W. Bush, stressed the importance of working with others to address the Islamic militants."This is the moment for the president, for the United States, to exercise leadership that has been a deficit in exercising leadership in the last couple of years, in particular," Khalilzad said.So far, Britain and France are the only countries to pledge support for a joint humanitarian effort, which Obama announced Saturday before going on a two-week vacation.Christopher Hill, who followed Khalilzad as U.S. ambassador to Iraq under President Obama, noted the spillover of Islamic militants into Iraq from Syria."The failure to come up with any kind of forward-looking diplomatic plan keeps people out there fighting because they have no confidence that the international community is coalescing around anything," Hill said on ABC's "This Week.""I think that's the major problem in Syria, more so than the idea that we have to put more weapons out on the battlefield," he added."This is a problem that is not just in Iraq,” Hill said. “It's a broader problem. ISIS, whatever its origins, it's pretty clear that it is part of a situation in Syria that has metastasized into Iraq."— This report was updated at 10:49 a.m.