Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Wolfowitz backpeddles on Iraq predictions

Wolfowitz digressed in his testimony before the House in February 2003:

If I might digress for a moment, Mr. Chairman, from my prepared testimony, because there's been a good deal of comment, some of it quite outlandish, about what our post-war requirements might be in Iraq.

...some of the higher-end predictions that we have been hearing recently, such as the notion that it will take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq, are wildly off the mark.

First, it's hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam's security forces and his army. Hard to imagine ...

There are other differences that suggest that peacekeeping requirements in Iraq might be much lower than historical experience in the Balkans suggests.

There's been none of the record in Iraq of ethnic militias fighting one another that produced so much bloodshed and permanent scars in Bosnia, along with a continuing requirement for large peacekeeping forces to separate those militias.

...they will greet us as liberators, and that will help us to keep requirements down.

What Wolfowitz said on Tuesday:
Continued combat in Iraq poses difficulties for rebuilding and development in the country


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