WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says current circumstances in Iraq make it impossible for the United States to win a full military victory.
Kissinger's comments to the BBC Sunday came the same day more than 50 people lost their lives from ongoing hostilities in Iraq, and added to the increasing political pressure for troop redeployment, The New York Times reported.
"If you mean, by 'military victory,' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible," said Kissinger.
The former secretary of state said U.S. officials must begin talks with Iraq's Mideast neighbors. He openly opposed any hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops.
The Times said Kissinger's pessimistic comments stand in stark contrast to his previous stance that only victory could ensure a U.S. exit from Iraq.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who supports increasing troop strength, told ABC's "This Week" U.S. troops in Iraq were "fighting and dying for a failed policy" but said the United States cannot afford to lose in Iraq.