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Powell: ‘Staying the Course Isn’t Good Enough Because a Course Has to Have an End’

Think Progress | October 5 2006

In a speech at the University of Minnesota yesterday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell blasted the Bush administration’s “stay the course” policy in Iraq:

“Only the Iraqi people can resolve this,” Powell said.

U.S. troops have to stay in Iraq for “some time,” he said. “But there is a limit to the patience of the American people.”

…In Iraq, “staying the course isn’t good enough because a course has to have an end,” Powell said.

The White House is trying to distance themselves from the phrase “stay the course.” But it aptly describes a strategy that has not changed in spite of repeated failures. Moreover, President Bush and top administration officials continue to use it. Here’s a video retrospective.

Powell’s objection to the “stay the course” strategy is grounded in the Powell doctrine, which states: “We owe it to the men and women who go in harm’s way to make sure…that their lives are not squandered for unclear purposes.”


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