Former Obama national security adviser blasts decisions in Syria as a 'colossal mistake'

Former Obama national security adviser blasts decisions in Syria as a 'colossal mistake'
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Retired Gen. Jim Jones, President Obama’s first national security adviser, on Sunday blasted the former president's decisions on Syria, saying “it was a colossal mistake to draw a red line.” 

Jones told CNN's Jim Sciutto on "State of the Union" that the administration failed to follow up on the statement, which caused a “loss of confidence” in “a very important part of the world.”

"I think at the very least the penalty for [Syrian President] Bashar al Assad for having used chemical weapons on his own people should have been the forfeit of a piece of his territory for -- where refugees could have been handled and might have prevented the flow of refugees into Europe,” Jones said.

Jones is believed to be one of the four contenders to be Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE’s next national security adviser after retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward declined the position recently vacated by Michael Flynn.

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When asked about the qualifications needed for the position, Jones said the position needs a "strategic thinker."

"[It has] got to be someone who understands that the coordination, the strategic coordination of the inner agency... someone who can resist and cause the [National Security Council] to resist getting involved in the tactical operations of our efforts around the world,” Jones said.

Jones also added the national security adviser choice must have "access and confidence" to the president and top White House leadership.

Jones during the CNN interview denied any recent contact with the White House, but mentioned he would happily offer advice to "the person that does take the job, because it's so very important.”

--This report was updated at 12:12 p.m.