War without end, amen.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday refused to rule out U.S. troops still being in Iraq in 10 years or the possibility that the United States could use military force against neighboring Syria and Iran.
Rice deferred to the decisions of President Bush and military commanders as Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee pressed her for more specifics on the U.S. strategy in Iraq.
Asked specifically whether the United States would have troops in Iraq in five or 10 years, Rice said: â€œI think that even to try and speculate on how many years from now there will be a certain number of American forces is not appropriate.â€
…and since we’re in the neighborhood
Lawmakers also pressed her on strategy for dealing with Iran and Syria. U.S. officials have accused Syria of allowing foreign fighters to flow across its borders into Iraq and Iran of supporting the insurgency.
Rice said the United States was using diplomatic means to urge a change in the behavior of both countries â€” but she stopped short of ruling out military force. â€œIâ€™m not going to get into what the presidentâ€™s options might be,â€ Rice said. â€œI donâ€™t think the president ever takes any of his options off the table concerning anything to do with military force.â€
Testifying before the committee for the first time since February, Rice sought to reassure jittery members of Congress that the Bush administration had a plan for success: helping Iraqis clear out insurgents and build durable, national institutions.
Vietnam is going to look like a vacation at Club Med.