US can forget about winning in Iraq: top retired general
3 June 2007
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The man who led coalition forces in Iraq during the first year of the occupation says the United States can forget about winning the war.
“I think if we do the right things politically and economically with the right Iraqi leadership we could still salvage at least a stalemate, if you will — not a stalemate but at least stave off defeat,” retired Army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said in an interview.
Sanchez, in his first interview since he retired last year, is the highest-ranking former military leader yet to suggest the Bush administration fell short in Iraq.
“I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time,” Sanchez told AFP after a recent speech in San Antonio, Texas.
“We’ve got to do whatever we can to help the next generation of leaders do better than we have done over the past five years, better than what this cohort of political and military leaders have done,” adding that he was “referring to our national political leadership in its entirety” - not just President George W. Bush.
Sanchez called the situation in Iraq bleak and blamed it on “the abysmal performance in the early stages and the transition of sovereignty.”
He included himself among those who erred in Iraq’s crucial first year after Saddam.
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