A senior Defense Department official said that Bremer never asked for more troops and expressed annoyance the ambassador appeared to be second-guessing the advice of military officials. Bremer stepped down after the June 28 handover to an interim Iraqi government.
On CNN TV just now:
- Officials here again say that during the time frame Paul Bremer served in Iraq he was in constant contact with the Penatgon, with the White House, he visited here several times and spokesman for Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld says the Secretary doesn't recall any point that Paul Bremer brought up with him at least the need for more troops. If it had come up, the Secretary would have paid a great deal of attention to that.
From July 1, 2003:
WASHINGTON - The top American administrator in Iraq, confronting growing anti-U.S. anger and guerrilla-style attacks, is asking for more American troops and dozens of U.S. officials to help speed up the restoration of order and public services.
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld was reviewing the request from L. Paul Bremer, U.S. officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Bremer's request underscores how difficult it has been for his small civilian staff and some 158,000 U.S.-led troops to meet the demands of Iraqis for security and other basic needs. It also conflicts with upbeat public statements from President Bush, Rumsfeld and Bremer himself on the progress made on Iraq's political and economic reconstruction.