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Panetta: Lack of Flexibility, Hesitation Cost US on Middle East Policy

Panetta: Lack of Flexibility, Hesitation Cost US on Middle East Policy

Tuesday on CNN, former Obama administration Defense Secretary Leon Panetta continued his critique of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy specifically dealing with the Middle East.

Panetta, whose memoir “Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace” was released on Tuesday, told CNN’s Gloria Borger that taking certain military actions off the table and hesitating on those decisions hurt the United States.

“I take the position that when you’re commander-in-chief that you ought to keep all options on the table … to be able to have the flexibility to what is necessary in order to defeat the enemy,” Panetta said. “We’re conducting air strikes. But to make those air strikes work, to be able to do what you had to do, you don’t– you don’t just send planes in and drop bombs. You’ve got to have targets. You’ve got to know what you’re going’ after. To do that, you do need people on the ground.”

“To a large extent it wasn’t that the president kind of said, ‘No, we shouldn’t do it.’ The president kind of never really came to a decision as to whether or not it should happen,” he added. “I think it basically sat there for a while and then got to the point where everybody just kind of assumed that it was not going to happen.”

(h/t Washington Free Beacon)

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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