Colin Powell, who’s been on something of a credibility campaign since that vaudevillian performance at the United Nations, took John McCain’s “troop surge” Iraq strategy to task on Sunday: “Let’s be clear about something else ... that gets a little confusing. There are really no additional troops.”
POWELL: Let’s be clear about something else, Bob, that gets a little confusing. There are really no additional troops. All we would be doing is keeping some of the troops who were there there longer and escalating or accelerating the arrival of other troops.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you about that because… do we have the troops? You seem to be suggesting that we don’t.
POWELL: I’m suggesting that what General Shoemaker said the other day before a committee looking at the reserve and national guard, that the active army is about broken. General Shoemaker is absolutely right. All of my contacts within the army suggest that the army has a serious problem in the active force.
SCHIEFFER: Let’s… you’ve talked about… I take it you think that the 160,000 troops are not going to be any more successful than 140,000.
POWELL: Nobody has made the case to me that 140,000… I have not seen a case that persuades me that it would be better at 150 and 160. Frankly, that would take a surge that you have to pay for later by not having troops that can come in and replace some of the 140,000 there.