Troops Will Have To Be Cut, Powell Predicts

Troops Will Have To Be Cut, Powell Predicts
April 11th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Troops Will Have To Be Cut, Powell Predicts

Troops Will Have To Be Cut, Powell Predicts
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 11, 2008 By Associated Press
Washington--Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday that President Bush's successor will have to come to grips with the reality that the United States cannot continue to keep such large numbers of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Without taking sides in the race for the White House, Powell said, "Whichever one of them becomes president on Jan. 1, 2009, they will face a military force that cannot continue to sustain 140,000 people deployed in Iraq and the 20 [thousand] odd or 25,000 people we have deployed in Afghanistan and our other deployments."
Powell's comments in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" seemed to undercut Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting John McCain's position that the U.S. should stay the course in Iraq. But Powell also said the next president will face limitations on bringing troops home, as Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton--rivals for the Democratic nomination--have promised to do.
"They will have to continue to draw down at some pace," he said. "None of them are going to have the flexibility of just saying we're out of here, turn off the switch, turn off the lights, we're leaving."
Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, argued publicly for the invasion of Iraq early in Bush's presidency.
"I'm looking at all three candidates ... I have not decided who I will vote for yet," said Powell, who donated $2,300 to McCain's campaign last year.
Powell praised Obama's response to controversial remarks by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
"I thought that Senator Obama handled the issue well," Powell said. "He didn't abandon the minister that brought him closer to his faith, but at the same time he deplored the kinds of statements that the Reverend Wright had made."

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