"I think we have probably underestimated how deep the hole is we dug ourselves in" Iraq, said former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Michael Leiter, who said that the whole region, not just Iraq, is "melting down."
Leiter said the U.S. underestimated "how weak the government structure in Iraq was, how weak the will to fight has been, and how much it's going to take to get the Iraqis back up to par."
Leiter was responding on CNN's "State of the Union" to whether the Obama administration "has been too slow to confront" the Islamic State "threat in a serious way" after Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's second largest province, fell into their hands last weekend.
"Similarly, I think we've underestimated the problems we have in Syria," Leiter continued. "How weak our situation is there and increasingly I think we have underestimated how alienated many of our Sunni allies feel in the region."