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-- introduce our our next gasses is Christian witness.
And he is -- former senior advisor to the US State Department Christian good morning to you when he's currently a DC.
International advisory excuse me a principal with DC international advisory and the author of the book Smart power between diplomacy.
And wore nice to see again so much thanks so much for joining us we -- talk with us about.
What do we -- -- what elements that we need to know that that Jennifer didn't get a chance to cover here.
Well she covered a lot you know I think some the big points are.
The policy failure here we go back to the early days of this war two and a half years ago.
When it looked like -- frankly very promising.
A man a dictator aside.
Who had facilitated the death of perhaps hundreds thousands of Americans in Iraq by allowing foreign fighters to go and who is -- chief backer of Hezbollah which essentially as an army.
Poised against Israel -- a terrorist organization that's responsible for the deaths of dozens of Americans in places like Lebanon he was going to be swept aside and replaced by we weren't really sure but by something that almost certainly was better.
But as this is dragged on and as we've seen another two and a half years of a world without American leadership.
Basically we have this you know a civil war that looks a lot frankly like the Spanish -- late 1930s where both sides.
Look absolutely terrible in that case it was fascists and Communists pick your choice in this case it's either -- -- the terrorist supporting dictator or now increasingly.
Islamist terrorists there may still be some secularist in the mix here especially those who defected from -- -- army are fighting against him.
But you know we keep saying we're going to arm these people this is something the Obama administration is -- gradually.
Evolved into but we really haven't done anything I mean essentially the United States is on the sideline.
For all of these things that are happening across the Middle East not just in Syria -- Iraq.
Well and Egypt we really gave him a free pass from the use of chemical weapons in the president's habit that would be a serious red line that if they use chemical -- weapons -- the US to simply wouldn't stand for it.
But it seems like he can take any kind of stand and -- -- start arming them but as you mentioned that that doesn't thing that happened just yet.
Right now and that's and a serious problem for the credibility United States when.
You make a threat.
You could the president states essentially never should -- Because if you're called on it if you do nothing that just that's it it -- easy way to lose.
A lot of your power and now whenever we do anything in the Middle East it you know it just lacks credibility anything we say.
It's not just the terrorists.
The islamists who noticed that the Chinese and the Russians -- -- in another thing that Jennifer touched upon.
Was the precipitous withdraw from Iraq.
Everyone one of the Iraq War to end but we were supposed to negotiate we're in the process of negotiating what's called the status of forces agreement so that US forces could remain.
In Iraq in a very limited role.
In order to have -- a -- to act in extreme situations.
But Obama put absolutely no effort itself into negotiating that and had basically.
I'm completely withdraw and why that's important from my hey I have -- Italian Afghan.
Part -- the problem with that was the major hiccup was if it if you can remind us of us.
Is that the Iraqis wanted to be able to -- -- to our men and women our servicemen and women basically to Iraqi -- Am I right there and that's what caused the president or in part what caused the president say you know we can agree to that.
Well the president never really involved and self.
We've seen this recently.
With this -- an affair -- he said you know that's just a little I'm not gonna involve myself with the hacker.
Meanwhile we've managed to get the tiff with Russia over and he -- -- the issue of this obscure -- I the president needs to involve himself more you know it's very frustrating dealing with the Iraqis but that's something that George W.
Bush forced himself to do every single week having a discussion.
With the Iraqi prime minister and Obama never really involves himself to this I think he.
Push it off to his vice president which is a signal that it's just not important.
No foreign head of state of -- country no matter how large or small once the deal with someone -- junior to his real counterpart.
And the problem is is that we're about to do this in Afghanistan again with Obama and his aides putting out feelers have a zero option where absolutely -- forces you know be in Afghanistan.
Say what you will about former President Bush but he was certainly willing to get his hands dirty in negotiating with we're in Iraq and Afghanistan and really walk walk and talk talks at a state.
-- Christian I understand we have to leave it there with that had back to breaking get on some some other issues but certainly on this issue of Syria.
Is not going away and it sounds like it is only going to get uglier and uglier Christian -- and joining us.
It is formerly with the State Department we got to -- Wyden excuse me -- we got to leave it there we'll talk to generals and thanks so much passion thank.
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