I've decided that the political context is such that the only way reform will finally come about in the Russian military is that the deterioration goes beyond the point to which these old generals can stand up there and resist it.
— William Odom
We've already seen proliferation. We started it with Britain, then France. Then we benignly let the Israelis do it. The Pakistanis and the Indians have recently done it. The Chinese have nuclear weapons.
In World War II in Germany, we had a ration for one U.S. soldier, or one allied soldier for every twenty inhabitants. The ratio in Iraq is about one for a hundred and sixty.
I have never belonged to a party. I don't have party affiliation.
While people out there on the spot certainly have to be held accountable for what they've done personally, the chain of command responsibility for this strikes me as just as important and should be dealt with.
But I would make it unambiguously clear that we are going to withdraw, and if Iraq falls into civil war and if all these unhappy things occur, we're just going to have to accept them.
It was, however, in the interest of Osama bin Laden for us to destroy a secular Arab leader; it was very much in the interest of the Iranians because they wanted revenge against Saddam Hussein for Iraq's invasion in 1980.
Once we destroyed the Saddam regime, we knew there was going to be a civil war.
To say that you now trust the Russian military command and control system because some Russian general told you from the bottom of his heart that's the case, strikes me as most unrealistic.
Firing off 1,000 or 500 or 2,000 nuclear warheads on a few minutes' consideration has always struck me as an absurd way to go to war.
I remember serving in Vietnam in that war, and many of us at the major Lieutenant Colonel, colonel level were frustrated that no one in the U.S. wanted to debate it that way.
The presidents I served under don't have anything to do with my politics.
So the idea that you could put Kurds, Shiite Arabs, and Sunni Arabs in a nice, liberal, federal system in Iraq in a short amount of time, six months or a year, boggles the mind.
In fact, it struck me when we invaded last year that if we did it without European and East Asian support, we were risking losing our alliance in Europe in exchange for Iraq, and that is a very undesirable exchange.
It was not in our interest to enter Iraq in the first place.
We need to go to the niceties of approaching the U. N. and let them have a chance to take it over, but we should set some sort of date and begin to move out and leave it to whoever takes over.
Military officers from different countries, when they meet each other, tend to sort of fall in love, become mutual admiration societies, at the expense of realities.
I will make a general statement that we have not had anything like the policy of holding people in high office responsible for their acts that I think we should.
Also, General Zinni, who commanded central command, was very much opposed to the war in the first place, as I was. We were both quoted to that effect in February of 2003.
I don't think that the war serves U.S. interests. I think Osama bin Laden's interests and the Iranian interests are very much served by it, and it's becoming a huge drain on our resources both material and political.
The whole notion of land property rights in the Arab world is different from that in Europe.
Therefore, once U.S. forces leave, it is almost inevitable that an anti-Western, anti-U.S. regime will arise.
Second, recent polls over there show that the majority of Iraqis want us to leave precipitously.