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Powell: U.S. mistakes hurting Iraq now

UPI | April 10 2006

U.S. mistakes in the invasion of Iraq led to the current insurgency and sectarian fighting, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says.

"We made some serious mistakes in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Baghdad," Powell told the National School Board Association's annual conference in Chicago. "We didn't have enough troops on the ground. We didn't impose our will. And as a result, an insurgency got started, and ... it got out of control."

The retired general said as a result, the United States is morally obliged to "stick with the people of Iraq" for as long as it takes to restore order, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Powell said Saturday he believes the United States made visa requirements too strict for foreign students after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks when it was discovered one of the hijackers entered the country on a student visa.

He said the country lost many of the world's brightest international students to universities in Canada, Europe and Asia after the students decided it would be too difficult to get a U.S. visa.

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