- Jul 31, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
A leading Republican senator and prospective presidential candidate said Sunday that the war in
Iraq has destabilized the Middle East and is looking more like the Vietnam conflict from a generation ago.
Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record), who received two Purple Hearts and other military honors for his service in Vietnam, reiterated his position that the United States needs to develop a strategy to leave Iraq.
Hagel scoffed at the idea that U.S. troops could be in Iraq four years from now at levels above 100,000, a contingency for which the
Pentagon is preparing.
"We should start figuring out how we get out of there," Hagel said on "This Week" on ABC. "But with this understanding, we cannot leave a vacuum that further destabilizes the Middle East. I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur."
Polls show the public growing more skeptical about Bush's handling of the war.
In Iraq, officials continued to craft a new constitution in the face of a Monday night deadline for parliamentary approval. They missed the initial deadline last week.
Hagel, who was among those who advocated sending two to three times as many troops to Iraq when the war began in March 2003, said a stronger military presence by the U.S. is not the solution today.
I agree with Hagel 100%. I'm very happy to see that at least a few Senators still have minds of their own. I too worry there wont be enough National Guardsmen left in the U.S. to help out if a natural disaster or attack did occur. Don't tell me Hagel is a liberal or brainwashed by michael moore and moveon.org because you know that isn't true."I don't know where he's going to get these troops," Hagel said. "There won't be any National Guard left ... no Army Reserve left ... there is no way America is going to have 100,000 troops in Iraq, nor should it, in four years."
Hagel added: "It would bog us down, it would further destabilize the Middle East, it would give
Iran more influence, it would hurt
Israel, it would put our allies over there in Saudi Arabia and Jordan in a terrible position. It won't be four years. We need to be out