Powell advised Bush to send more troops to Iraq
By Vicki Allen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday defended the Bush administration’s Iraq war planning after her predecessor, Colin Powell, said he had made a case to send more troops to deal with the war’s aftermath.
Rice also said she did not “remember specifically” what instance Powell was referring to on his recommending to President George W. Bush that more troops be sent.
In an interview with a private British television station on Sunday, Powell said there had been debates about the size of the force and how to deal with the aftermath.
“I don’t think we had enough force there to impose order,” he said on ITV’s Jonathan Dimbleby program.
“The aftermath turned out to be much more difficult than anyone had anticipated,” said Powell, adding he had favored a larger military presence to deal with the unforeseen.
“I made the case to General (Tommy) Franks, to (Defense) Secretary (Donald) Rumsfeld and to the president that I was not sure we had enough troops,” Powell said. But he said the military leaders felt they had the appropriate number.
Powell’s comments come amid concern about the rising death toll in Iraq, which has been a factor in driving Bush’s approval ratings to the lowest of his presidency.