Gen. Colin Powell gave an interview to ITV (a British network) in which he charged that as Secretary of State he gave the Administration specific advice in 2003 to utilize a substantially larger force when invading Iraq, and was ignored.
Powell now joins the ranks of former Bush insiders who are now publicly criticizing the Adminstration for past or current policy blunders. Expect the anti-Powell counter-offensive any day now.
Powell is puting some daylight between himself and what even many Republicans view as a crucial strategic error leading to the current quagmire in Iraq. This might be a prelude to Powell seeking to be a competent, moderate opinion center on Iraq in GOP politics. Iraq policy from most serious GOP Presidential contenders consists of keeping their heads down and chanting, "Stay the course!" Powell is now positioned to be a key player in the internal GOP struggle to find a post-Bush-Cheney, post-2008 Iraq strategy.
The key question is whether Powell will pronounce there to be hope to bring Iraq to a successful conclusion despite past errors, or whether he will advocate a force protecting rapid withdrawal ‘with honor’. Either way, he could add bottom to a 2008 ticket, either as President in his own right (not likely in my view), or as heavy brass in the VP slot. Not to mention tempting some of the 98% of African Americans whom the GOP has alienated to vote Republican once again.
Choosing between our 2008 presidential candidates might not be final until it’s time for the 2008 presidential election to actually occur but staying on top of the presidential race can help to make sure that in 2008 you make a more informed decision.