Despite saying the invasion of Iraq was his biggest regret and it being described as the “worst mistake in US military history“, George W Bush believes there’s only one way to deal with the current problems in the country: “boots on the ground”.
In an interview with Israeli newspaper Israel HaYom, the former US president was pressed on his views on foreign policy just days after being given a higher approval rating than Barack Obama.
Before talking up his admiration of Hollywood film American Sniper, Bush spoke against isolationism (a charge being aimed at Obama), citing the Second World War as a “classic example”.
“The ‘America First’ policy basically said ‘who cares what happens in Europe.’ As a result, there were terrible times,” he said.
When asked how he would deal with the insurgent group that calls itself Islamic State, Bush said he didn’t want to criticise his successor but was clear on his position in 2003 and is clear on his position now:
"My position was that you need to have boots on the ground. As you know, I made a very difficult decision. A fair number of people in our country were saying that it was impossible to defeat al-Qaeda - which is Isis as far as I am concerned. They said I must get out of Iraq. But I chose the opposite - I sent 30,000 more troops as opposed to 30,000 fewer.
"I think history will show that al-Qaeda in Iraq was defeated. And so I chose the path of boots on the ground. We will see whether or not our government adjusts to the realities on the ground."
The war, in which more than 4,000 US military personnel, as well as many thousands of other soldiers and civilians died, has been blamed as one of the main reasons for the rise of Isis.
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