Gen. John Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee that troop levels should not be changed in Iraq, but that Iraqis themselves ought to bear responsibility for the nation’s security. Sen. Hillary Clinton responded with a smackdown: “Hope is not a strategy. … I have heard over and over again the Iraqi government must do this, the Iraqi army must do that. Nobody disagrees with that. The brutal fact is, it is not happening.”

Reuters via Yahoo!:

WASHINGTON — The top U.S. general in the Middle East said on Wednesday violence in Iraq was unacceptably high but Iraqis, not American troops, must solve the problem.

In the military’s first appearance on Capitol Hill since voters drove President George W. Bush’s Republicans out of power in the next Congress, Army Gen. John Abizaid rejected suggestions that troops levels should be changed at all.

“I believe more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, taking more responsibility for their future,” Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee.


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