Trump said he was the "absolute only one" of the field of Republican candidates who came out against the Iraq war early
Gen. Raymond Odierno, outgoing Army chief of staff, said Trump's anti-ISIS strategy won't work
Donald Trump touted his foreign policy chops Wednesday, saying even as the “most militaristic” person in the world, he had the “vision” to oppose the war in Iraq.
“Unlike Jeb Bush, unlike the brother … who you know got us into the whole war, I was totally opposed to the war,” Trump told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “The Lead” on Wednesday.
“I am the most militaristic person you will ever meet. However, you have to know when to go and when to use the military,” he continued. “They used it at the wrong point, and I said there will be a total imbalance of the Middle East, Iran will take over Iraq, lots of bad people, like ISIS, will take over the oil, and that’s exactly what happened.”
Trump has been touting his 2004 opposition to the Iraq War in the Republican primary, including at the GOP debate last week.
Wednesday, he said he was the “absolute only one” of the entire field of Republican candidates who came out against the war so early.
“You could call that vision,” Trump said. “And I’m very proud of it.”
And yet, earlier Wednesday, Trump’s plan for fighting ISIS was panned by a top military leader.
Defeating ISIS is not as simple as bombing Iraqi oil fields and taking oil from the terrorist group, said Gen. Raymond Odierno, the outgoing Army chief of staff.
“There are limits to military power,” he told reporters. “It’s about sustainable outcome. And the problem we’ve had is we’ve had outcomes, but they’ve been only short-term outcomes because we haven’t looked at, we haven’t properly looked at, the political and economic sides of this. It’s got to be all three that come together. And if you don’t do that, it’s not going to solve the problem.”
Odierno had been asked by CNN’s Barbara Starr to respond to recent comments Trump made to CNN’s “New Day” saying he would seize ISIS-controlled oil fields in Iraq to stop the terrorist group, echoing similar comments he’s made.
“I would go in and take the oil and I’d put troops to protect the oil. I would absolutely go and I’d take the money source away. And believe me, they would start to wither and they would collapse,” Trump said Tuesday. “I would take the oil away, I’d take their money away.”
Odierno said the U.S. must implement a sustainable plan that will ultimately be in the best interests of the region.
“We have to stop a long-term group that’s potentially attempting to be a long-term influence in the Middle East, that is clearly promoting extremism and frankly suppressing the populations in the Middle East,” he said. “In order to resolve that, you need the countries in the Middle East, and those surrounding the Middle East, to be involved in this solution.”