Programming Note: Leon Panetta talks to Bill O'Reilly about his scathing new criticism of President Obama's foreign policy on "The O'Reilly Factor," Tuesday at 8/11p ET.


Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sat down with USA Today to discuss his criticism of President Obama's withdrawal from Iraq.

In his new memoir, “Worthy Fights," Panetta blames the complete withdrawal from Iraq on President Obama, writing that the White House was "so eager to rid itself of Iraq that it was willing to withdraw rather than lock in arrangements that would preserve our influence and interests.”


'Wasn't President Bush Exactly Right?' Megyn Presses Psaki on Iraq Withdrawal


Obama's former CIA director and the White House chief of staff under Bill Clinton explained that the United States will face a decades-long threat from foreign terror groups.

"I think we're looking at kind of a 30-year war," said Panetta, arguing that the withdrawal from Iraq created a vacuum that allowed ISIS to rise.

Panetta believes the president "kind of lost his way" over the last two years in the fight against terrorists, giving a "mixed message" about the role of the United States.

He believes the president's legacy depends on how the fight against ISIS turns out. Panetta says he "understands" that the president doesn't want another war in the Middle East, but believes U.S. ground troops may be necessary.

"We may very well need Special Forces to be able to work not only with the people on the ground, but to also help in providing that targeting that is absolutely important to the effectiveness of an air campaign," Panetta said, arguing Obama should have started supporting rebels inside Syria two years ago.

Watch clips from the interview in Peter Doocy's report above.


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Brit Hume reacted on "America's Newsroom," arguing that the president is acting against ISIS because of politics and questioning whether the current air campaign is really doing anything to "defeat" ISIS.

Hume said Obama's current strategy appears to be the containment of ISIS until he leaves office.

"What I think he is trying to do is respond to the political pressures that were built by the airing for all the world to see of the beheadings of two Americans, which frightened the American public, alarmed the American public and made it incumbent on him - as a leader of a party facing a Congressional election - to do something to respond to that, which he has now done," said Hume.

Watch Hume's full analysis below:


Programming Note: Leon Panetta talks to Bill O'Reilly about his scathing new criticism of President Obama's foreign policy on "The O'Reilly Factor," Tuesday at 8/11p ET.