Pulling US troops would lead to 'disaster' -- Kissinger
AFP | November 27 2005
For mer US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned Sunday that a hasty pullout of American troops from Iraq would lead to political and military "disaster", and called on the US administration to stay the course there.
"I think to look at withdrawal from Iraq ... could lead to disaster," said Kissinger, who served as the top US diplomat in the administrations of presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
"We have to keep in mind what our objective should be, and if we leave Iraq under conditions at the end of which there will be a radical government in Baghdad, or part of the country becomes a haven for terrorism, it will have turned into a disaster that will affect the whole world," Kissinger said in an interview with CNN television.
He added that the global nature of terrorism makes it particularly difficult to chart a US exit strategy from Iraq.
"The terrorism is not confined to Iraq. It has gone from Bali in Indonesia to central Europe across many countries -- Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, in some respects India," the former diplomat said.
Kissinger was speaking amid a raging debate in the US polical establishment over whether Iraqi forces are ready to take over from US troops and whether a timetable for a withdrawal of American forces from Iraq should be made public.
Kissinger told CNN that it is important to frame the discussion in broader terms.
"We should ask ourselves very thoughtfully what the political situation will be that will allow us to withdraw troops, and not simply put it in terms of the training of Iraqi troops," he said.
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