Monday, July 31, 2006

Daily Kos: Iraq "an absolute replay of Vietnam" -- Hagel

So says the conservative Nebraska Republican and Vietnam vet.

Calling conditions in Iraq "an absolute replay of Vietnam," Sen. Chuck Hagel said Friday that the Pentagon is making a mistake by beefing up American forces in Iraq.

U.S. soldiers have become "easy targets" in a country that has descended into "absolute anarchy," the Nebraska Republican and Vietnam combat veteran said in an interview with The World-Herald.

He said that in the previous 48 hours, he had received three telephone calls from four-star generals who were "beside themselves" over the Pentagon's reversal of plans to bring tens of thousands of soldiers home this fall.

Instead, top Pentagon officials are suspending military rotations and adding troops in Iraq. The Pentagon has estimated that the buildup will increase the number of U.S. troops from about 130,000 to 135,000.

"That isn't going to do any good. It's going to have a worse effect," Hagel said. "They're destroying the United States Army."

Read the whole speech to the Brookings Institution.


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