Powell Finds His Voice, Clashes With Condi

Monday, May 01, 2006

Powell Finds His Voice, Clashes With Condi

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported:
Just back from Baghdad and eager to discuss promising developments, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice found herself knocked off message Sunday, forced to defend prewar planning and troop levels against an unlikely critic — Colin Powell, her predecessor at the State Department.

... Powell sideswiped her by revisiting the question of whether the U.S. had a large enough force to oust Saddam Hussein and then secure the peace.

... “I don’t remember specifically what Secretary Powell may be referring to, but I’m quite certain that there were lots of discussions about how best to fulfill the mission that we went into Iraq,” Rice said.

“And I have no doubt that all of this was taken into consideration. But that when it came down to it, the president listens to his military advisers who were to execute the plan,” she told CNN’s “Late Edition.”

Powell, in an interview broadcast Sunday in London, said he gave the advice to now retired Gen. Tommy Franks, who developed and executed the Iraq invasion plan, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld while the president was present.

“I made the case to General Franks and Secretary Rumsfeld before the president that I was not sure we had enough troops,” Powell said in an interview on Britain’s ITV television. “The case was made, it was listened to, it was considered. .... A judgment was made by those responsible that the troop strength was adequate.”

... In January, Pentagon officials acknowledged that Paul Bremer, the senior U.S. official in Iraq during the first year of the war, told Rumsfeld in May 2004 that a far larger number of U.S. troops were needed to effectively fight the insurgency, but his advice was rejected.
I found this Condi Rice comment particularly interesting:
“There will be time to go back and look at those days of the war and, after the war, to examine what went right and what went wrong,” Rice said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
There will be time? Naturally. Something tells me that if it were up to Rice, the Bushies would schedule that review for, maybe .... the year 2046.

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