June 17th, 2014
12:04 PM ET

Wolfowitz: 'We Should Have Found a Way to Keep an American Presence in Iraq'

Former U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, one of the original architects of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, told CNN's "New Day" that the United States "should have found a way to keep an American presence in Iraq."

American military forces ended their withdrawal from the country in December 2011. At the time of the U.S. drawdown, Iraq's leadership had agreed that a residual U.S. military presence was desirable, but talks broke down over the prickly issue of legal immunity for U.S. troops in Iraq.

Wolfowitz acknowledged that "a lot of mistakes" had been made in Iraq and that it was not "set up well for Obama when he came in," but he said Obama could have done more after taking power to renegotiate the terms of the U.S. withdrawal agreed on under former President George W. Bush.

"I think we could have kept a substantial, not a huge, American presence - not a combat presence, but the kind of support that would've kept Maliki better under control, that would've given the Iraqi army better ability to function," he said.

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