John Abizaid: Soft-Spoken Soldier

Soft-Spoken Soldier

When General John Abizaid inherited the U.S. war in Iraq last year, some officers wanted him to boost the U.S. troop presence there to get a firmer grip on the violence racking the country. "More U.S. troops will lead to less consent for our presence among the Iraqis," Abizaid told them. Only partly in jest, he berated as "colonialists" those who wanted more U.S. troops in Iraq.

But Abizaid, who is a realist above all, was deadly serious last week when he asked--and got approval from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld--for an increase of 20,000 troops in Iraq to deal with...

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