Carter: Obama ‘waited too long’ to fight ISIS

Former President Jimmy Carter is criticizing some of President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, including drone strikes on four Americans abroad and a failure to act promptly to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

{mosads}Obama’s Middle East policy is difficult to determine, as “it changes from time to time,” Carter said in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday.

“I noticed that two of his secretaries of Defense, after they got out of office, were very critical of the lack of positive action on the part of the president,” Carter noted.

In a media blitz this past week, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta blasted Obama, in one interview suggesting the president might have “lost his way.”

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates also criticized Obama in his memoir, saying the president “doesn’t believe in his own strategy.” Recently, Gates said Obama would need U.S. ground troops to defeat ISIS, something the president has repeatedly rejected.

“First of all, we waited too long,” Carter told the Star-Telegram about Obama’s response to ISIS.

“We let the Islamic State build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria,” he said. “Then when [ISIS] moved into Iraq, the Sunni Muslims didn’t object to their being there and about a third of the territory in Iraq was abandoned.”

Carter noted there is a “possibility of success” if ground troops follow up U.S. airstrikes in Iraq to combat ISIS, but he said it was too early to put ground troops in Syria.

Carter also objected to the killing of four American citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan that the Obama administration announced in May 2013.

“We’ve killed four Americans overseas with American drones. To me, that violates our Constitution and human rights,” he said.

On potential 2016 White House contenders, Carter said that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a “real possibility” and that he will vote for the Democratic nominee.

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