President Biden’s pick to be the Pentagon’s policy chief said on Thursday the world “probably is a better place” because of President Trump’s decision to kill Iranian terror leader Qassem Soleimani.
The congressional testimony was a pronounced shift for Democrats who generally condemned the January 2020 missile strike.
Then-candidate Joseph R. Biden said the drone attack showed Mr. Trump to be “dangerously incompetent” and a “reckless disregard of the consequences that would surely follow.”
Soleimani led Iran’s notorious Quds Force. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps component exports the regime’s terrorist attacks, especially in Iraq, where its militias target American
troops, and in Syria where Iran props up President Bashar Assad.
Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, lead Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, reminded Colin Kahl, nominated to be Defense Department under secretary for policy, that he at the time predicted the killing would lead to war.
“I didn’t shed a tear for the death of Qassem Soleimani for all the reasons that you mentioned, Senator Inhofe,” Mr. Kahl testified. “I was concerned about the escalatory dynamics.”
“Is the world in a better position now without him?” Mr. Inhofe asked.
“I think it probably is a better place without him,” said Mr. Kahl, who served as national security adviser to Vice President Biden.
Mr. Inhofe quoted Mr. Kahl as saying Soleimani was responsible for the murder of hundreds of American service members in Iraq and funded terrorists who killed thousands of innocent civilians in the region.
At the time of the strike at the Baghdad airport, Soleimani rode in a car with a militia leader branded as a terrorist by the U.S.
Iran-directed Iraqi militias were launching rockets at bases housing Americans.
• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at email@example.com.
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