Clinton Blames Bush for Rise of ISIS
DICKERSON "The terror attacks last night underscore biggest challenge facing the next president of the United States. At a time of crisis, the country and the world look to the president for leadership and for answers. So, secretary Clinton, I'd like to start with you. Hours before the attacks, President Obama said "I don't think ISIS is gaining strength." 72% of Americans think the fight against ISIS is going badly. Won't the legacy of this administration, which is-- which you were a part of, won't that legacy be that it underestimated the threat from ISIS?"
CLINTON: "Well, John, I think that we have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network. It cannot be contained. It must be defeated. There is no question in my mind that if we summon our resources, both our leadership resourcessources and all of the tools at our disposal, not just military force, which should be used as a last resort, but our diplomacy, our development aid, law enforcement, sharing of intelligence in a much more open and cooperative way, that we can bring people together. But it cannot be an American fight. And I think what the president has consistently said-- which I agree with-- is that we will support those who take the fight to ISIS. That is why we have troops in Iraq that are helping to train and build back up the Iraqi military. Why we have special operators in Syria working with the kurds and Arabs so that we can be supportive. But this cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential.
>> But, secretary Clinton, the question was about was ISIS underestimated? I'll just add, the president referred to ISIS as the J.V.U., in a speech. "I could not have predicted the extent to which ISIS could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq." So you've got prescriptions for the future, but how do we even those prescription prescriptions are any good if you missed it in the past?
CLINTON: "Well, John, look, I think that what happened when we abided by the agreement that George W. Bush made with the Iraqis to leave by 2011 is that an Iraqi army was left that had been trained and that was prepared to defend Iraq. Unfortunately, Nouri al-maliki, the prime minister, set about decimating it. And then, with the revolution against Assad-- and I did early on say we needed to try to find a way to train and equip moderates very early so that we would have a better idea of how to deal with Assad because I thought there would be extremist groups filling the vacuum. So, yes, this has developed. I think that there are many other reasons why it has in addition to what happened in the region, but I don't think that the United States has the bulk of the responsibility. I really put that on Assad and on the Iraqis and on the region itself."