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Colin Powell: "We Are Losing" In Iraq
Says More Troops Not the Answer
12/17/2006 10:16 PM ET
CBS News

In a frank assessment of the war in Iraq, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the U.S. is losing the war and added that sending more troops would not be the best way to change course within the country.

On this morning's "Face the Nation," Powell said he agreed with the Iraq Study Group's conclusion that the situation was "grave and deteriorating, and we're not winning; we are losing."

He said that he was "not persuaded that another surge of troops into Baghdad for the purposes of suppressing this communitarian violence, this civil war, will work." He added that U.S. Army and Marine Corps are not big enough to quell the violence and that Baghdad needs a police force, not American troops.

Powell gave his prescription for action in Iraq:

"I think that what we should do is to work with the Iraqi government, press them on the political peace, do everything we can to provide equipment, advisers, and whatever the Iraqi armed forces need to become more competent, and to train their leaders so that those leaders realize their responsibility to the government."

He added: "I think we are a little less safe, in the sense that we don't have the same force structure available for other problems," Powell said. "I think we have been somewhat constrained in our ability to influence events elsewhere."

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