Former deputy CIA head suggests US needs Kurdistan


14.07.2014 – BasNews, Washington – Former Deputy Director of the CIA John McLaughlin suggested that the US might need the Kurds in order to attack the Sunni militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS).

“One area that will be threatened by them [ISIS] is the Kurdish area, which I expect now they`ve raised the issue of referendum on independence and I can imagine that they will have such a referendum. They will become independent or quasi independent,” he said On Thursday’s PBS Charlie Rose show. The former intelligence chief suggests Kurdistan might be the only location from where to attack ISIS, since Jordan and other Gulf states have their own problems.

“Maybe at some point they will be seeking things from the United States to defend themselves — weapons, intelligence, and so forth. Maybe it will be time at some point to request bases in Kurdistan in order to attack ISIS. I don’t see how you attack ISIS unless you have close-in access somewhere.”

He added, “Where are you going to have it? Well, there`s Jordan. But Jordan has its problems. You`re sort of out of Iraq except with a small group of advisors. You`re not going to go into Iran. Saudi Arabia isn`t postured to do that.”

He therefore concluded that at some point the US will have to have close-in access in Iraqi Kurdistan to attack ISIS. “Unless somehow inexplicably and unlikely they sort of peter out or die or are defeated locally.”

The New York Times reported on Monday that a classified military assessment of Iraq’s security forces concluded that the Iraqi armed forces are infiltrated by the Iranian intelligence and Sunni extremists and could pose a threat to their safety.On Friday, McClatchy reported that the US is expanding a secret facility in Iraqi Kurdistan and quoted a special operations officer who says its more logical for the United States to work with the Kurds, rather than the Iraqi army.

“It’s a natural fit that as these guys look around at the collapsed Iraqi army and how all of its remaining competent units are either infiltrated by or directly led by Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders that there would be a high degree of discomfort directly operating with them, ”he said. “But the Kurds are trustworthy, reliable and already know how to fight alongside your units. It’s a natural fit to run an operation from Irbil with the Peshmerga, while the other advisers in Baghdad try to stem the bleeding of the Iraqi army and protect that huge US embassy complex,” he told McClathy.