General McCaffrey ‘Dismayed’ Over Obama’s Iraq Strikes: ‘Political Gestures Using Military Power’

Retired four-star Army Gen. and former Clinton official Barry McCaffrey said he was “a little dismayed” by President Obama’s decision to bomb terrorists in Iraq, claiming the airstrikes are tepid, unfocused and driven by “internal U.S. politics to show we’re doing something.”

McCaffrey spoke with NBC’s Chuck Todd over the phone on Friday, almost immediately tearing into the White House’s new course of action to protect American allies and refugees from Islamic State jihadists in northern Iraq.

“These are political gestures using military power,” he explained. “When we dropped three aircraft loads of water and food to 50,000 people in the mountains, now we’re striking ISIS artillery units, it looks to me as if a lot of this is internal U.S. politics to show we’re doing something.”

“I mean, if you’re going to use military power,” the general continued, “you have to write down your objective and then use decisive force to meet your objective. So I’m a little dismayed at what we’re up to here.”

McCaffrey claimed that the United States should’ve supported the Kurds — America’s most reliable ally in the region — for the last year, but failed to do so because it would’ve angered the corrupt government in Baghdad.

“I think we have muddled thinking on what we’re trying to achieve in Iraq,” he asserted. “And so these pinprick strikes — I mean if you’re going to protect refugees, 50,000 people without water and food, you don’t do two FA-18 strikes on an artillery unit somewhere in the vicinity.”

Follow Brendan on Twitter