• June 13, 2024

PANETTA: ‘Obama Has Lost His Way, Created Vacuum For Islamic State’

It’s going to be a rough week for President Obama, thanks in part to his former CIA director and defense secretary, Leon Panetta, who in an interview published this morning said the president has “kind of lost his way.”

Fmr. SecDef, Leon Panetta
Fmr. SecDef, Leon Panetta

He said as well that by not pressing the Iraqi government to leave more U.S. troops in the country, he “created a vacuum in terms of the ability of that country to better protect itself, and it’s out of that vacuum that ISIS began to breed,” Panetta told USA Today, referring to the group also known as the Islamic State.

He said Obama has a “frustrating reticence to engage his opponents and rally support for his cause” and too frequently “relies on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader.” Sometimes, he told USA Today’s Susan Page, Obama “avoids the battle, complains, and misses opportunities.”

Such criticism is widespread among Republicans but mostly muttered privately by Democrats. Indeed, it echoes the Republicans’ theme that Obama, at best, “leads from behind,” which they have used to back up their charge that the U.S. role in the world has diminished under Obama.

Keep reading @ WaPo

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