Former US deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Paul Wolfowitz, now 72, was once known for his 'hawkish' ways as the secretary of defense under George W. Bush, having supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Today, that same Wolfowitz had harsh words to say about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. In an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel, when asked if Donald Trump is a security risk, Wolfowitz said, "Yes he is... He says he admires Putin, that Saddam Hussein was killing terrorists, that the Chinese were impressive because they were tough on Tienanmen Square. That is pretty disturbing."
Wolfowitz went on to say he was "more than willing" to speak up about how "unacceptable" Trump is. "The only way you can be comfortable about Trump's foreign policy," he said, "Is to think he doesn't really mean anything he says... Our security depends on having good relationships with our allies. Trump mainly shows contempt for them."
In an unexpected turn, Wolfowitz then compared Trump to President Barack Obama. "We are already seeing a degree of instability in the world because Obama seems to have consciously wanted to step back," he told Der Spiegel
. "Trump is going to be 'Obama squared,' a more extreme version of the same thing."
And when called to choose sides come this November's elections, Wolfowitz offered an unenthusiastic, "I wish there were somebody I could be comfortable voting for. I might have to vote for Hillary Clinton, even though I have big reservations about her."
Also in the interview, Wolfowitz denied the Iraq war's role in the rise to power of the Islamic State, claiming that ISIS is a result of the Syrian government's failures, and that Obama effectively allowed ISIS to thrive by removing American forces too quickly from the region.
Wolfowitz told Der Spiegel
that the US should not have occupied Iraq, but rather promoted new Iraqi leadership from the start, saying, "We came to liberate the country. Then we occupied it. To many Iraqis, it was a complete contradiction. It made them suspect our intentions and it gave us the same image as the Israelis."