Former US commander calls Iraq ‘nightmare with no end’

WASHINGTON, Oct 12, 2007 (AFP) – A former top US military commander in Iraq said Friday that the current White House strategy in Iraq will not achieve victory in the four-and-a-half-year war, which he described as “a nightmare with no end in sight.” In the bluntest assessment of Iraq by a former senior Pentagon official yet, retired Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez also lambasted US political leaders as “incompetent,” “inept,” “derelict in the performance of their duty” and suggested they would have been court-martialed had they been members of the US military.

“There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight,” said Sanchez, addressing a meeting of military correspondents and editors in Arlington, a Virginia suburb of Washington.

He blasted President George W. Bush’s “surge” strategy that calls for maintaining more than 160,000 US troops in Iraq until the end of the year in the hope of reducing sectarian violence and bringing about a modicum of political stability.

The strategy has since been adjusted, with the current plan calling for the withdrawal of about 21,500 combat troops by next July to bring the total to the “pre-surge” level of 130,000 servicemen.

But Sanchez said he did not believe these