Hagel compares Iraq to Vietnam

There are differences, says Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, who, unlike Bush, actually served in Vietnam, where he “received two Purple Hearts and other military honors for his service,” but

“[W]e are locked into a bogged-down problem not unsimilar, dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam,” Hagel said. “The longer we stay, the more problems we’re going to have.”

Meanwhile, “[Army Chief of Staff] Gen. Peter Schoomaker said the Army is prepared for the ‘worst case’ in terms of the required level of troops in Iraq,” and is prepared to maintain current troop levels.

“I don’t know where he’s going to get these troops,” Hagel said. “There won’t be any National Guard left … no Army Reserve left … there is no way America is going to have 100,000 troops in Iraq, nor should it, in four years.”

Most Republicans are continuing to toe the Bush line–at least in public. But we’ve been hearing knowledgeable people with a military background warning that an extended involvement in Iraq would be troublesome for a while now.

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