Powell: "We are losing"

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell makes a rare criticism of the administration, says the "active Army is about broken" and there are no more troops to send to Iraq.

Published December 18, 2006 2:05PM (EST)

Colin Powell has always been, above all, a good soldier. So he's been reluctant to criticize the administration he served for four years. But on Sunday, he didn't hold back.

Appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," Powell said that we haven't yet lost in Iraq, but, referencing the report of the Iraq Study Group and the testimony of incoming Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, added that "if it's grave and deteriorating, and we're not winning, we are losing."

Powell also dismissed suggestions of troop increases. "There really are no additional troops," he told host Bob Schieffer. "All we would be doing is keeping some of the troops who're there there longer and escalating, or accelerating, the arrival of other troops."

Powell explained that this was because "the active Army is about broken ... The Army has a serious problem in the active force, and it's a problem that will spread into the Guard and Reserves: Backlog of equipment that is not being repaired, soldiers -- especially officers and noncommissioned officers -- going on repetitive tours."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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