Sunday, August 21


Steph asked what the two thought about Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker's remarks that the Army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in Iraq -- well over 100,000 -- for four more years.

Hagel: "I think it's complete folly." There won't be any National Guard left, no Army Reserve left, there's no way Americans are going to tolerate 100k troops in Iraq by that time. That would give Iran more influence, hurt Israel, put our allies in a terrible position. We need to be out.

Allen: this was a worst-case scenario. Steph: Yes, but could we sustain those levels? Allen: We'd find a way.

Steph says you've both said the prez should have met with Cindy Sheehan. What about that?

Allen says he said HE would have met with her, but since he said that Cindy's made outrageous statements, some about the president, and this has become a political cause celebre.

Hagel says the WH doesn't understand that the dam has broken on this policy. The longer we stay there the more similarities to VietNam are going to be there. Can't tie the hands of your Commander-in-Chief, but we should have one objective. For the past two years, that's been to help the Iraq people position themselves to govern and defend themselves, but that can't go on indefinitely. We should start figuring out how we get out of there, but we cannot leave a vacuum that would further destabilize the Middle East, and the longer we stay there, the worse it wll become

Allen: I disgree completely. We HAVE to prevaioll, we must win. If we lose, THAT will destabilize the Middle East.


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