Cheney: Obama's Iraq withdrawal created ISIS

Cheney: Obama's Iraq withdrawal created ISIS
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Former Vice President Dick Cheney is blaming President Obama for the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Iraq was in “good shape” at the end of President George W. Bush’s time in the White House, Cheney said on “CBS This Morning” on Monday, but was splintered by Obama’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops.

“The situation in Iraq at our departure was very good, and Obama himself said as much,” Cheney said. “So the situation arose, we got into difficulty there when he pulled out all the troops.

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“There was no stay-behind agreement, no advisers left in Iraq, and the vacuum that was created is what led, ultimately, to the rise in ISIS,” Cheney claimed.

Critics on all sides have been quick to cast blame for the extremist group’s rise in recent months, as it took control of swaths of Syria and Iraq.

In particular, many critics accuse the Bush administration of propelling the group’s growth by invading Iraq in 2003, which set in motion a series of events descending parts of the country into anarchy.

Cheney rejected that on Monday.

In his interview, the former vice president also railed against the nuclear deal with Iran, which he encouraged lawmakers in Congress to try and block next month.

Instead, diplomats should go back to the negotiating table, he said, and work to achieve a “better deal” with more limits on Iran.

“It will significantly increase Iran support as the chief sponsor of terror in the world,” Cheney said. “That’s a terrible outcome to have.”

Cheney also said that U.S. officials had to “rebuild America’s defenses” and more aggressively threaten military action if Iran refuses to comply.

“You need to be prepared, for example, to make the threat of military action very credible,” he added.