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Carter critical of Obama's foreign policy in Middle East

"We waited too long" to fight the Islamic State, Carter said.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Oct. 8, 2014 at 11:17 AM
| License Photo

FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Former President Jimmy Carter was critical of current foreign policy in a wide-ranging interview, saying the United States "waited too long" to engage the Islamic State.

"First of all, we waited too long. We let the Islamic State build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria," Carter told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday.

"Then when (IS) moved into Iraq, the Sunni Muslims didn't object to their being there and about a third of the territory in Iraq was abandoned."

Carter added he found it difficult to understand President Barack Obama's foreign policy.

"It changes from time to time. I noticed that two of his secretaries of defense, after they got out of office, were very critical of the lack of positive action on the part of the president."

While former presidents typically do not offer opinions on the actions of sitting presidents, Carter often expresses his views on current global affairs.

"If we keep on working in Iraq and have some ground troops to follow up when we do our bombing, there is a possibility of success. You have to have somebody on the ground to direct our missiles and to be sure you have the right target. Then you have to have somebody to move in and be willing to fight ISIS (IS) after the strikes."

On other topics, Carter said he would support whoever is the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 2016; that the non-profit human rights organization The Carter Center is involved only indirectly with the battle against the Ebola virus in Liberia; and that he considers persecution against women "the worst human rights violation on earth right now."

Carter, 90, was in Fort Worth to help build a Habitat for Humanity project.

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