Latest Information From Iraq - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/11/03 - Iraq

Latest Information From Iraq

The top American civilian official in Iraq is headed to Washington. Coalition officials say Paul Bremer took off on a previously unannounced trip today.

Bremer had been scheduled to meet in Iraq with Poland's prime minister, but canceled the meeting.

The trip comes after a big jump in deaths of U.S. soldiers in resistance attacks.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says if military commanders told him more ground troops were needed in Iraq, that's what he would recommend to President Bush.

Rumsfeld told "The Early Show" on C.B.S. all the military leaders say there are plenty of troops in Iraq now.

Rumsfeld brushes off suggestions that commanders are simply telling him what they think he wants to hear. He says they "speak their mind every day."

The defense secretary says troop morale in Iraq is "high."

The Pentagon has already announced plans to reduce the number of troops by next spring. Rumsfeld told C.B.S. that American soldiers are training an Iraqi army, a police force and border patrols so they can assume control over the country.

General Richard Myers said in response to the rising U.S. casualty count in Iraq, American forces are revising their strategy.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says warplanes, bombs, and aerial assaults are now a part of that plan.

In a Veterans Day interview on NBC's "Today" show, Myers said the war effort is producing a new generation of American heroes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.

He also says he doesn't think the U.S. has been under a greater threat than the terrorist threat it's now facing.

Myers believes Saddam Hussein is still alive somewhere in Iraq, and says there's a special task force in charge of the search. But Myers says finding Saddam won't end the Iraqi conflict because -- quote -- "there are still elements who will fight on as long as they can."

A new survey suggests more and more Americans don't believe the war in Iraq was worth fighting.

The poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center says 49% say the war wasn't worth it -- compared to 48% who say it was.

That's a change from last month -- when 52% said it was worth fighting, while 43% said it was not.

The changes in opinion were seen in many demographic groups -- but they were strongest among men and independent voters.

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