WASHINGTON D.C. — President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson admitted that the Iraq war failed to achieve it’s objectives. The nominee made his remarks during his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
Tillerson was asked by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., if he supported Trump’s assessment of the Iraq war that it was a failure.
“I think in that regard the decision to go into Iraq and change the leadership in Iraq upon reflection was perhaps not – did not achieve those objectives, we do not have a more stable region in the world and our national security has not been enhanced or is still certainly under threat today,” Tillerson responded. He called the war “well intended” but ultimately unsuccessful.
Paul said he was concerned that Congress and the Executive branch were too eager to tackle “terrible evil people” overseas without acting in American interests. The Kentucky senator also raised concerns that the United States would invade Iran, despite the failures in Iraq.
Tillerson replied that it was important for a proper balance of American values and American interests when pursuing military force overseas. He also recommended that the United States be “clear” about the threat posed by Iran, specifically their efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon and their support for terrorism.
“We have to disrupt that,” he concluded.
Tillerson also compared the failures in Iraq to the failures in Libya. He then warned about acting in Syria for the same reasons.
“In the case of Libya, I think that was the failing in the decision to change the regime there, no one had a clear plan or view of what would come next,” he said about the military actions taken by President Obama that were backed by Hillary Clinton.
He added that his job was to make sure that America didn’t have to go to war.
“If confirmed as Secretary of State, my job is to make sure we never get there,” Tillerson stated.