Sen. Jerry Moran: Don't go back to Iraq now


By Dion Lefler

By Dion Lefler

The Wichita Eagle

(MCT) — Sen. Jerry Moran said Monday he doesn't support sending U.S. troops back to Iraq to try to rein in Islamic militants who have seized much of the country and declared areas they control an independent caliphate.

" I don't think there's anything President Obama can do to lead this country back to a solution of Iraq," he told Wichita Eagle writers and editors in a meeting Monday morning. "In my view it was a mistake to leave precipitously, but having that decision been made, then I don't think you can put this back together again."

The success of the Islamic insurgent group, an al-Qaida spin-off known as ISIS or ISIL, has caused a schism among Republicans over whether to use military force.

Moran doesn't think it would work because it would take longer than the political will would last.

"I think trying to go back in and correct the circumstances that it (Iraq) is now in, I just don't see a path by which we would have success," Moran said. "And I actually hate reaching that conclusion because there are so many people who have sacrificed lives in regard to trying to make Iraq a better place and freedom and liberty in that part of the world, that it will be more difficult to find the success in their sacrifice."

Moran said he was "skeptical or reluctant to engage in Iraq in the first place" during the leadup to the 2003 U.S. invasion, but changed his mind after a meeting with then-National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice. Moran served in the House of Representatives at the time.

"Because of that skepticism that I'd expressed, I get to sit across the table like this from Condoleeza Rice who tells me 'Congressman, we know they have weapons of mass destruction, we know they have chemical weapons, we know they have biological weapons and it's only a short order of time before they're able to deliver a nuclear device across their border. This is a real problem.' And I believed her."

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