Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that a US defeat in Iraq would be "disastrous" and President George w. Bush's strategy deserves bipartisan support in Congress.
"The consequences of American failure in Iraq at this point would, I believe, be disastrous not just for Iraq but for the region, for the United States and for the world," Gates told a Pentagon news conference.
"No discussion of where and how we go from here can avoid this stark reality," he added.
Gates asserted that all senior military leaders fully agreed with the recommendations Gen. David Petraeus presented to Buh and to Congress, including his proposal to begin a modest troop withdrawal this year.
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