News

    Former US Commander Criticizes Bush on Iraq

    Multimedia

    Audio

    The former U.S. commander of multi-national troops in Iraq says President Bush's strategy there is failing because it relies too much on military force and not enough on political reconciliation. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, President Bush says Iraqi leaders are making political progress.

    As commander of multi-national forces in Iraq shortly after the fall of Baghdad, retired Army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez says he saw first hand the consequences of what he calls the Bush administration's failure to properly coordinate American political, economic, diplomatic, and military power.

    "That failure continues today," he said. "At its base is the mistaken belief, despite years of evidence to the contrary, that victory can be achieved through the application of military power alone."

    Sanchez says he gave the Democratic Party's Saturday radio address not as a representative of the opposition party but as a retired military officer.

    This is not the first time Sanchez has spoken out against the president's policies in Iraq. Asked about his previous criticism, White House officials said simply that they appreciate Sanchez's service.

    The former commander is backing congressional Democrats who want $50 billion in additional war funding linked to the goal of withdrawing U.S. combat troops by the end of next year.

    That legislation was blocked by Senate Republicans who want $70 billion for the war without conditions. Democrats voted down that measure, and no additional funds were approved before Congress left for its Thanksgiving break.

    President Bush opposes a timetable for troop withdrawal because he says those decisions should be made by military commanders in the field, not politicians in Washington. He says some troops are coming home, and more will follow next year, because of improved security that the president says is partly the result of his decision to send reinforcements to Iraq earlier this year.

    Those troops were meant to give Iraqi leaders time to reach compromises on sharing oil revenue and allowing members of Saddam Hussein's former political party to join the government. The measures have not passed parliament.

    In an interview with ABC News earlier this week, President Bush was asked about the pace of reconciliation and comments by an American army captain who said coalition troops cannot themselves reconcile Iraqi politicians.

    "Sunni sheiks are stepping up and beginning to take the lead at the local level," he said. "The captain's remarks are true in this sense: the Iraqis are going to have to obviously take the lead politically, which they are beginning to do."

    Sanchez disagrees with the president.

    "The keys to securing the future of Iraq are aggressive regional diplomacy, political reconciliation, and economic hope," said Sanchez. "Yet, as our current commanders in Iraq have recently noted, the improvements in security produced by the courage and blood of our troops have not been matched by a willingness on the part of Iraqi leaders to make the hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country."

    Sanchez says there is no evidence that Iraqi leaders will make those hard choices in the near future.

    In the president's weekly radio address, Mr. Bush again marked this past Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday, saying Americans are grateful for U.S. servicemen and women whose sacrifices protect and strengthen the nation.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020i
    X
    Ramon Taylor
    May 05, 2016 10:05 PM
    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora