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Powell: "I Raised the Question" of a "Larger Troop Presence" in Iraq; "Every Word" in UN Speech "Approved by the CIA with No Political Pressure"

4:43 PM, Jan 22, 2006 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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The former secretary of state, in today's Sunday Times of London, ...

On troop strength in Iraq:

"There were enough troops to defeat the army. (But that) was only part of the battle. The difficult part was taking control of a very large country with 25m people and you have just taken out the whole government. And guess what: who then becomes the new government? You do, under the laws of land warfare. We were not able to take control, nor did we have the right political approach.

"We were characterizing the insurgents as a few dead-enders and saying, ‘This isn't all that bad'. A larger troop presence would have been helpful. I raised the question. The Pentagon says that is not what the generals thought. But the generals were working under political direction that said ‘this is not going to be that bad'. But it did turn out that bad - we were unable to strangle the insurgency in its crib - and now it is raging."

On his Iraq UN speech:

Wasn't the inaccuracy of the intelligence the fault of politicos pressuring spooks to produce smoking guns? "I wanted to know what the truth was. When I prepared my UN speech I sat there for four days and nights: we went through everything, to make sure this huge presentation I was giving, watched by the whole world, was accurate. Every word was approved by the CIA with no political pressure. I tossed out things because they weren't sufficiently sourced."