Local insight into the violence in Iraq - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local insight into the violence in Iraq

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - President Obama is taking action in Iraq where violent Sunni militants continue to hold several cities in their quest to establish an in Islamic state. A local veteran with specific insight into the current conflict in Iraq is not the only San Diegan closely watching the crisis.

A retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve who served in Iraq to develop a police force says President Obama’s efforts to deploy 300 military advisors to Iraq will not stop the violence sweeping the country.

“It's basically too little too late and I don’t think it will turn the tide,” says Craig Candelore.

He served in Iraq from 2004 to 2006 and was in charge of police development and believes the U.S should have partitioned the states when Saddam Hussein was killed.

“It’s very disappointing. Years and billions of dollars spent on training. It’s disheartening,” said Candelore.

He says he is disappointed because Candelore believes the crisis started when Saddam Hussein was killed.

“Once you disband the Iraqi army you pulled the genie out of the bottle and I don't think you can put it back in,” said Candelore. "As it affects the Middle East, I think it is the greatest mistake that has occurred."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Malaki doesn’t have the support to fight the violence sweeping the country. Local Chaldean business leaders are calling on moderate Muslims.

“It’s not about the leader of Iraq that will determine whether or not Iraq succeeds, it’s about the people of Iraq,” said Chaldean American Chamber President, Ben Kalasho.

As the violence escalates President Obama has said he will not put troops back in Iraq. The retired colonel believes the commander-in-chief doesn’t have many options but hopes military will not be deployed.

“I think at this particular time it has to play itself out. The parties have to get exhausted,” said Candelore.

Local business leaders hope for peace but say it can’t happen unless Iraqi’s unit.

"Enough is enough. Moderate Muslims have to step up to the plate. If they want to see Iraq not fall apart and not shatter they have to step up to the plate,” said Kalasho.

El Cajon has the second largest Iraqi Christian, Chaldean population in the United States.

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