Victory in Iraq no longer possible, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has said
A U.S. victory in Iraq is no longer possible under the conditions the Bush administration hopes to achieve, but a quick withdrawal of American troops would have "disastrous consequences," former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said Sunday.
President Bush has said the United States will remain in Iraq until the country's government "can sustain itself and defend itself," and a top Iraqi official disputed Kissinger's assessment of the three-year-old war in an interview with CNN.
But in a BBC interview Sunday morning, Kissinger said the U.S. course needs to be redefined -- and the breakup of Iraq could be the eventual outcome.
Kissinger served as national security adviser and secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford administrations and has advised the Bush administration on Iraq. In August 2005, he wrote in The Washington Post that "victory over the insurgency is the only meaningful exit strategy."But on Sunday he said a military victory in Iraq was no longer in the cards.
"If you mean by clear military victory an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible," he said.
His comments come as a commission led by another former top diplomat, James Baker, prepares to offer its recommendations for a change of strategy in the war. The conflict has become increasingly unpopular in the United States as the American death toll nears 2,900, while waves of sectarian violence over the past nine months have left thousands of Iraqis dead.
U.S. soldier death toll nearing 3,000
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