Powell casts doubt on US troop increase in Iraq

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell is casting doubt on a plan under consideration by President George W. Bush that would increase troops in Iraq, calling the US Army overextended and "about broken." The incoming Senate majority leader, however, offered qualified support for a troop surge, saying it would be acceptable for a few months as part of a broader strategy to bring combat forces home by 2008. "If the commanders on the ground said this is just for a short period of time, we'll go along with that," said Sen. Harry Reid, citing a time frame such as two months to three months. But a period of 18 months to 24 months would be too long, he said.