Obama: Just Because Iraq Was Stable 2 or 4 Years Ago Doesn't Mean It’s Stable Now

In an interview that aired on Monday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked President Barack Obama if the unfolding situation in Iraq changes his view on how the U.S. occupation in in Afghanistan should be ended.

Obama explained the responsibility should be placed on the countries to take charge of their own situations.

“Unless we are prepared to stay indefinitely in all these various countries, something that we can’t afford and would involve, over time, accusations that we were occupying these countries, you know, at some stage, they’re going to have to take responsibility for working together,” he said.

Brzezinski also asked the president about his declarations that al Qaeda had been “decimated” in Iraq, during the 2012 reelection campaign, to which he simply chalked it up to things changing.

“Just because something’s stable two years or four years ago doesn’t mean that it’s stable right now,” Obama said. “And what we have is a situation in which in part because of growing mistrust between Sunni and Shia, that some of the forces that have always possibly pulled Iraq apart are stronger now. Those forces that could keep the country united are weaker. It is ultimately going to be up to the Iraqi leadership to try to pull the politics of the country back together again.”

Obama added that while ISIS could pose a threat to the United States, such a threat did not warrant a U.S. reoccupation of the Iraq.

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