Former president Jimmy Carter — hardly a foreign-policy hawk — accused President Obama of slow-walking the military response to the Islamic State on Tuesday.
“First of all, we waited too long,” the Democrat told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday. “We let the Islamic state build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria,” he said. “Then when [ISIS] moved into Iraq, the Sunni Muslims didn’t object to their being there and about a third of the territory in Iraq was abandoned.”
But Carter believes the U.S. air campaign against the Islamic State could still prove successful — if effective ground troops are available to follow up.
“You have to have somebody on the ground to direct our missiles and to be sure you have the right target,” he said. “Then you have to have somebody to move in and be willing to fight ISIS after the strikes.” Carter did not specify whether he meant American, coalition, or regional soldiers.