WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Dick Cheney says Iraqi leaders have progressed toward a stable society, but he’s worried about the failure of Washington and Baghdad to negotiate a “stay-behind” U.S. force there.

Cheney says the emerging democracy is “not perfect by any means, but they clearly are much better off than when Saddam Hussein was in charge.”

Cheney tells CBS’s “The Early Show” the Iraqi government is still working to organize. On Iran, he says the Obama administration hasn’t done enough to inhibit Tehran from developing a nuclear program, and says Iran is trying to become the dominant power in the region. He calls the downed U.S. drone in Iran “a significant intelligence loss” and says he thinks the administration should have considered going in and “taking out the drone.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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