GOP Sen. Pete Domenici called for a change of policy in Iraq Thursday, making him the third veteran Republican to break ranks with President Bush over the issue in the last two weeks.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As another key Republican senator called for President Bush to change strategies in Iraq, a top U.S. General said pulling out the extra troops in the coming months would be “a mess.”
Responding to a question from CNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre in a video briefing, Iraq Commander Major General Rick Lynch said, “Those surge forces are giving us the capability we have now to take the fight to the enemy. And the enemy only responds to force and we now have that force. We can conduct detailed, kinetic strikes, we can do cordon and searches, and we can deny the enemy the sanctuaries. If those surge forces go away, that capability goes away, and the Iraqi security forces aren't ready yet to do that. So now what you're going to find, if you did that, is you'd find the enemy regaining ground, re-establishing the sanctuary, building more IEDs, carrying those IEDs in Baghdad and the violence would escalate. It'd be a mess.“
General Lynch said the extra forces are needed to “mature the situation” and allow them to turn areas over to Iraqi security forces so they can start withdrawing US troops, but “that’s not going to happen any time soon.”
Lynch said one of his key rules of war fighting is “everything takes longer than you think.”
- Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk