"We had al-Qaida down on the 10-count, and we let it off the mat," Mansoor said.
After his deployment as XO to Petraeus, Mansoor retired in 2008 and went on to publish two memoirs detailing his experiences during the surge. He's now an associate professor at Ohio State University, where he teaches military history. Speaking at a discussion Wednesday at American University in Washington, D.C., Mansoor assessed the Obama administration's approach to Iraq and criticized several key areas.
Citing a general "unraveling of the security situation around the world," Mansoor stressed the need to "know who your enemy is."
"Perhaps more important, the Iran deal sets a dangerous precedent. The United States is making this exception to its nonproliferation policy not for just any country, but for Iran, a longstanding U.S. enemy, a leading state-sponsor of terrorism, a country that has violated its nonproliferation commitments in the past, and a country that at present stonewalls the International Atomic Energy Agency’s questions about the military dimensions of its nuclear program."
"The hybrid warfare concept gives many in the West the luxury of picking and choosing from a range of actions – a media campaign here, a cyber-intrusion there (and even the occasional political assassination) – and interpreting them as one-off isolated events. There is no need to connect the dots."
Managing complicated foreign-policy conundrums requires talented people with insight and wisdom. They need to be skilled decision makers and effective leaders. Such people can be found in government. Unfortunately, government rarely empowers the right people at the right time."
"There should be no surprise when a mediocre national-security squad suffers a string of foreign-policy setbacks. Top-rank talent may not guarantee any administration an unbroken winning streak in foreign policy, but it sure improves the odds."
"The Middle East is in chaos. And while the sectarian and ideological forces which tear the region apart would exist regardless of U.S. policy, decisions made by President Barack Obama and his team of advisors have effectively thrown fuel on the fire."
"Unfortunately the reelection of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, and the manner in which it was achieved, will only further Obama's goal of weakening the links between the U.S. and Israel. Already, the two leaders have a venomous relationship."