Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich today said it is “profoundly wrong” for the Obama Administration to keep a “small group” of U.S. troops in Iraq.   

“This proposal that we keep 3000 troops in Iraq is, I think, very frightening. Three-thousand troops is too small to defend itself and should be thought of as a target,” Gingrich said during a speech in Des Moines. “This administration is making political decisions that risk the lives of young men and women in uniform and it is profoundly wrong…to put Americans at risk for political reasons.”

Gingrich said Iran is going on offense inside Iraq and U.S. troops who remain in Iraq are “on defense.” According to Gingrich, “it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

“We either ought to leave enough troops to defend themselves or get ’em all out,” Gingrich said. “But you leave a small group of troops in a dangerous neighborhood and somebody’s going to try and come to kill ’em.”

According to Gingrich, the U.S. should consider abandoning the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

“The embassy is way too big, way too indefensible, way too expensive. It was designed for a different world,” Gingrich said. “In the world that Obama wants, it makes no sense to have the current American Embassy in Iraq. It’s much too big.”

The “scale of the conflict” in the Middle East is a “deeper question” for U.S. policymakers to ponder, Gingrich said, citing comments from a top U.S. military official who has said Pakistan’s spy agency supported recent terrorist attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan.

Gingrich made his comments earlier today during a speech in Des Moines to Principal Financial employees.