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Sunday September 7, 10:27 AM
Bush to speak on Iraq; Rumsfeld admits US failed over Saddam\\´s forces


US President George W. Bush was preparing a major address on his Iraq policy after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld admitted the US may have dropped the ball in failing to annihilate Saddam Hussein\\´s forces.

More British troops were meanwhile headed for Iraq from their base on Cyprus, bringing their number in the war-torn country to a total of 10,620.

\\´They are going to be reinforcing the multinational force in the southeast based in Basra and they are going to be involved in a variety of tasks, all of them related to security,\\´ British military spokesman Major Niall Greenwood said.

Rumsfeld, wrapping up a three-day inspection of Iraq on Saturday, insisted the Iraqi people take more responsibility for security in the US-occupied country.

But he also acknowledged the litany of daily attacks on coalition troops there may have had its roots in the US failure to chase down Saddam\\´s forces during the war and to anticipate the type of problems it would face afterwards.

Coalition ground forces commander Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez insisted he had no need of reinforcements in Iraq, given the sort of low-intensity warfare being mounted against his troops.

Sanchez acknowledged that his forces had faced some 15 attacks a day over the past five days, but said that in half of those the assailants used mortars or remotely detonated bombs and never came close enough to be engaged.

Bush, his eyes fixed on the November 2004 presidential election campaign, has resolved to ask the UN for more help in Iraq.

As the cost of American financing Iraq\\´s reconstruction continues to mount and as its troop numbers continue to remain stretched, Bush has instructed Secretary of State Colin Powell to support a UN Security Council resolution that would pave the way for a greater UN role in Iraq.

The Bush administration hopes the...


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