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U.S. Faces Growing Fears of Failure

Wolfowitz Concedes Errors as Damage Control Continues. The Bush administration is struggling to counter growing sentiment — among U.S. lawmakers, Iraqis and even some of its own officials — that the occupation of Iraq is verging on failure, forcing a top Pentagon official yesterday to concede serious mistakes over the past year. Under tough questioning from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, a leading administration advocate of the Iraq intervention, acknowledged miscalculating that Iraqis would tolerate a long occupation. A central flaw in planning, he added, was the premise that U.S. forces would be creating a peace, not fighting a war, after the ouster of Saddam Hussein. “We had a plan that anticipated, I think, that we could proceed with an occupation regime for much longer than it turned out the Iraqis would have patience for. We had a plan that assumed we’d have basically more stable security conditions than we’ve encountered,” Wolfowitz told the senators. Full Story

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