Former Bush administration official and key Iraq war planner Paul Wolfowitz said in an interview published Friday that he will likely vote for Hillary Clinton as he believes Donald Trump would be a danger to American national security.
Wolfowitz was one of the fiercest backers of the invasion of Iraq and is frequently described as an “architect” of the war. However, Wolfowitz doesn’t agree with this label. “If I had been the architect, a lot of these things would be different. As a matter of fact, I believed after 9/11, there was reason to get much tougher about the fact that Saddam was blocking the inspections for weapons of mass destruction,” the Bush official said to the German publication Der Spiegel. (RELATED: Prominent Iraq War Backers Say Trump Is ‘Reckless’)
Republican nominee Donald Trump has criticized nation-building policies throughout the campaign and has blamed the Iraq war for the rise of ISIS. Wolfowitz pushed back against both of these ideas. He said, “it would be a huge mistake to abandon democracy promotion.”
The former Bush official also said, “As far as Iraq is concerned, if it had stayed stable the way it was in 2008, IS would not have been able to expand in Iraq the way they did. The mistake was that Barack Obama withdrew the armed forces from Iraq too fast.”
Dozens of former Bush officials, including many involved with the planning and execution of the Iraq War, have said that Trump is “dangerous” and Wolfowitz agreed in the interview. “[Trump] says he admires Putin, that Saddam Hussein was killing terrorists, that the Chinese were impressive because they were tough on Tiananmen Square. That is pretty disturbing,” the Bush official said.
Wolfowitz said “it’s complicated” for him to talk out against Trump. “Trump says that it is precisely we and our policies that are responsible for the mess in Iraq. But I certainly think it’s important to speak up and say how unacceptable he is,” he told Der Spiegel.
Wolfowitz said that he “might have to vote for Hillary Clinton, even though I have big reservations about her.” Clinton voted in favor of invading Iraq.
In 2002, Trump said “Yeah, I guess so” when asked whether he supports invading Iraq.
Seven months after the invasion, Trump had a change of mind. “I guess maybe if I had to do it, I would have fought terrorism but not necessarily Iraq,” the GOP nominee said then. Trump also supported the withdrawal of troops Wolfowitz blames for ISIS’ rise in Iraq.
Wolfowitz believes “Trump is going to be ‘Obama squared,’ a more extreme version of the same thing.”