Cheney slams ‘wrong’ U.S. direction in Iraq

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry greets U.S. Marines as he arrives at the U.S. embassy in the International Zone in Baghdad

Former vice-president Dick Cheney, an architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, defended Tuesday his choices at the time, and slammed the current U.S. course as opening the door to insurgents, according to Agence France-Presse.

“This administration is taking exactly the opposite direction from which we ought to be headed,” Cheney stressed.

Obama never meant to leave troops in Iraq, Cheney said adding that his decision to withdraw led to the current instability.

“The president did not want to have, I don’t believe, any stay-behind force in Iraq. I don’t think it was consistent with the campaign he’d run when he campaigned against our forces in Iraq and promised to bring them all out during the course of the campaign,” Cheney said during an interview with the American television channel PBS.

Cheney’s statements came as the first of up to 300 U.S. military advisers began their mission in Baghdad to help the Iraqi army.

The Pentagon said the American troops were not taking on a combat role.

During the interview, the former vice president defended the choices of the George W. Bush administration which he served in saying it did the right thing in 2003, according to AFP.

Speaking about the mistakes made during the war in 2003, Cheney said: “It was not a flawless war, but I’ve never seen one that was.”

Asked if ISIS’s inroads were an intelligence failure of the United States, Cheney said: “I don’t automatically assume our guys missed it. I just don’t know.

“I think there’s a real possibility that it didn’t track with the narrative that we got Bin Laden, terrorism problems solved.”

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