Iraq must back armed force with politics to defeat ISIS: Ex-CIA head David Petraeus

    April20/ 2022
    Last Updated:

    Washington: Calling the fall of Ramadi to the Islamci State as a �strategic loss�, former CIA chief David Petraeus has stressed on the urgency of a �political component� that must accompany the military force in order to trounce the extremists. In a rare interview with the BBC, the former CIA chief said that though he believed that Ramadi could be taken back from the ISIS in few weeks, it's loss was a huge setback and lade bare the claims of �ISIS being on the defensive�. Petraeus said that the strategy to combat the ISIS must be refined and augmented and must involve a �political component�. Calling the ISIS a formidable enemy, he said "Industrial-strength extremists cannot be dealt with just with force of arms". "You have to have that political component as well," he told the BBC. Political change has to start at the top. Above all, Gen Petraeus says, "the Sunni Arabs have to be given incentives to support the new Iraq rather than to oppose it". When asked to compare the al Qaeda in Iraq and the ISIS, General Petraeus said that Qaeda was more deeply rooted in Iraq and were in much greater numbers that the Islamic State. Asked about Ashton Carter's recent criticism of Iraqi forces lacking the will to fight, Petraeus expressed confidence in the troops's ability saying, they had �fought and died for their country at vastly higher numbers... than coalition forces". "We know that they will fight. But they will only fight if they have good leadership, and the support and knowledge that somebody will have their back if they get into a tough fight,� Petraeus told the BBC. The takeover of Ramadi in Iraq and the ancient cultural site of Palmyra in Syria by the ISIS is being seen as a big setback to the US strategy against the Islamic State.

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