- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, said Monday that Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s new prime minister, is the “best of the group,” but will still face challenges in defeating the Islamic State militant group if he’s even allowed to assume the position.

“This whole thing is going to be very difficult,” Mr. King said on MSNBC.

Mr. al-Abadi was named the new prime minister earlier this week, but Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, has refused to step down from his role.

Mr. King said the U.S. would have better intelligence and more information on the resources of the Iraqi army if President Obama left behind a small group of residual forces when pulling out troops.

“This is all a consequence, I believe, of him withdrawing too quickly in 2011,” he said.

Mr. King also echoed comments he’d made before that the president should not rule anything out and should not alert the enemy about what actions the U.S. won’t take. He also said the president may have a harder time gaining the support of the American people if further intervention is needed when he’s said he absolutely won’t increase the country’s involvement in the crisis.

“For this to be successful, no matter what he ends up doing, he has to have the American people behind him,” Mr. King said. “It’s important to be honest with the American people.”

Mr. King said the U.S. should be implementing more sustained air attacks as well as using bases in neighboring countries to launch attacks.

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