WASHINGTON, D.C. (Worthy News)– President Barack Obama was advised by the last American commander in Iraq that 23,000 U.S. troops remain to cement the victory, however no deal was ever reached with Baghdad, and all combat forces went home in 2011.
Retired Army Gen. John M. Keane helped devise the 2007 troop surge and details how the U.S. gained victory by working hand in hand with Iraq's military to pinpoint strikes. The campaign became so effective that al Qaeda stopped sending jihadists to Iraq because they would be exterminated quickly.
"As we pulled out of Iraq in 2011, just think of this: We had all our intelligence capability there. We knew where the enemy was. We were flying drones. We're tracking them. We have signals intelligence pouring in, eavesdropping on phone conversations and the rest of it. We’re using our counterterrorism forces to bang against these guys. We're passing that information to the Iraqis so their commandos can do the same," the general told the Washington Times.
"On a given day in 2011, that screen went blank. The Iraqis went from a significant amount of intelligence on what was taking place, and the screen just went blank," Gen. Keane said.
In 2008, U.S. President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki signed a status of forces agreement that said all U.S. troops would leave by 2011. Supporters of the Obama administration say that the President simply executed the agreement that was signed in 2008.
However, in 2011, Gen. Austin recommended to President Obama that a residual force of 23,000 troops remain on the ground in Iraq, sources told the Washington Times.
The Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIS) began instituting sharia law last week in the territory it now controls.
"The caliphate [Islamic state] is forming right before our eyes," Gen. Keane said.
"They've had the greatest success that's ever been achieved since the organization was formed. They will begin to set the conditions for an assault on Baghdad. They will use [vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices] to soften it up. They'll conduct raids. They'll move in around the belt on Baghdad, and eventually they will launch a multiprong assault on Baghdad."
“My sources tell me Maliki believes he is in a desperate situation and wants and needs our support," Keane, told Fox News. "If he doesn't get it in a way that will help him, he will certainly turn to Iran."