Bush fails to attain international support; troops in Iraq
According to Washington Post reports, U.S. forces in Iraq will remain without international support after President Bush ended two days of talks with foreign leaders. Bush failed to garner troops necessary to relieve the overextended American soldiers.
Bush has spent the past two days meeting with the leaders of India and Pakistan, to no avail, according to the Post. Aides report that Bush did not even ask for help assembling the division of foreign troops that the Pentagon reports will be necessary.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in confirming the lack of aid, said, "We're not going to get a lot of international troops. I think somewhere between zero and 10,000 or 15,000 is probably the ballpark." Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff warned that without foreign troops, more National Guard and Reserve forces could be activated within the next two weeks.
Complicating matters further is U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is considering ordering total U.N. withdrawal from Iraq. This would leave Bush, who had hoped to rush a resolution through the U.N severely undermanned. The resolution would encourage countries to send troops and financial aid and the U.S. military.
Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Post he would like to have a resolution by October 23. A senior Bush aide who wished to remain anonymous, told the Post, "nobody's in a particular hurry to get this done, because we're going to do this right."
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