The former U.S. administrator in Iraq says the United States "paid a big price" for failing to deploy enough troops on the ground immediately after the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
Paul Bremer, who oversaw the U.S. led government in Iraq until the hand-over of power in June, says he still supports the decision to invade Iraq.
But, in a speech Monday, he said the shortage of troops in Iraq hampered efforts to end looting and violence, creating "an atmosphere of lawlessness."
His comments echo remarks from some U.S. lawmakers, including Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who accuse the Bush administration of failing to adequately plan for post-war Iraq.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday he was "misunderstood" when hours earlier he told a gathering in New York he has seen "no strong, hard evidence" linking Saddam Hussein with al-Qaida.
Mr. Rumsfeld says he has maintained since September 2002 that there were links between al-Qaida and Iraq.