Monday, December 18, 2006

U.S. forces 'losing' in Iraq, Powell says

U.S. forces 'losing' in Iraq, Powell says - International Herald Tribune: "The former secretary of state Colin Powell said Sunday that badly overstretched U.S. forces in Iraq were losing the war there and that a temporary U.S. troop surge probably would not help.

In one of his few commentaries on the war since leaving office, Powell quickly added that the situation could be reversed. He recommended an intense coalition effort to train and support Iraqi security forces and strengthen the government in Baghdad. Powell was deeply skeptical about increasing troop levels, an idea that appears to be gaining ground as President George W. Bush weighs U.S. strategy options.

'There really are no additional troops' to send, Powell said, adding that he agreed with those who say that the U.S. Army is 'about broken.'

He said he was unsure that new troops could suppress sectarian violence or secure Baghdad.

He urged the United States to do everything possible to prepare Iraqis to take over lead responsibility; the 'baton pass,' he said, should begin by mid-2007."


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