One sure-fire way to get headlines if you are a former Obama administration official — especially if you are trying to sell your memoir — is to criticize the President. Which is what former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is doing right now, suggesting that the President didn’t do enough to leave troops in Iraq.
Despite what many in the media may speculate, the fact remains that the main reason a residual force did not remain in Iraq is because the al Maliki government wanted U.S. troops to be subject to Iraqi law and prosecuted for crimes in their courts. Leon Panetta says that the White House didn’t use it’s “leverage” to overcome that particular objection. However, it seems that Iraq was determined to do all it could to keep U.S. troops out of its country.
Panetta also says that the battle against ISIL would likely be “kind of a 30-year-war,” according to USA Today.