Gen. Sanchez calls Iraq a 'nightmare'

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former U.S. commander in post-invasion Iraq, lambasted the Bush administration Friday for "incompetent strategic leadership."

Speaking at a convention of military reporters and editors, Sanchez criticized the "surge," or increase in U.S. forces, as a sign of desperation, The New York Times reported.


Sanchez, who retired last year, commanded coalition forces in Iraq from June 2003 to July 2004. Together with Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, he took much of the blame for early failures there. The Abu Ghraib scandal also tarnished Sanchez's reputation.

Sanchez said that in Iraq the United States is "living a nightmare with no end in sight."

"After more than fours years of fighting, America continues its desperate struggle in Iraq without any concerted effort to devise a strategy that will achieve victory in that war-torn country or in the greater conflict against extremism," Sanchez said.

Asked for specific recommendations, Sanchez gave a list that resembles those listed by President George W. Bush, including promoting reconciliation between Iraqi factions and training Iraqi security forces. But he said the administration has relied entirely on military force.


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