Clark: Port security debate misguided

March 5, 2006 at 4:16 PM

WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) -- Retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark says the debate about U.S. ports should focus on security, not the country where a port management company is based.

Clark, speaking on ABC's "This Week," said the flap over Dubai-based DP World taking over six U.S. ports is misguided. In the new global economy, Clark said, the ports would be safe if security is beefed up and tough regulations are imposed on companies before ships reach U.S. shores.

Clark -- a former NATO commander who contended for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 -- also said the U.S. presence in Iraq should be expanded and used to secure the border with Iran and train Iraqi troops. He said the United States needs to demand that Shiite militias accused of terrorizing Sunni citizens be disbanded.

Clark called for clear goals for Iraq to be set and met before the United States scales down or withdraws troops.

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