Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently admitted that she regrets the Bush Administration’s strategy in rebuilding Iraq after the war. Rice, who is now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, spoke at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on March 19th. Rice affirmed the administration’s decision to remove Hussein from power, stating:
I would many times over liberate Iraq again from Saddam Hussein. I think he’s a danger to the Middle East…
But Dr. Rice now realizes that the rebuilding strategy should have been more focused on tribal relations.
When asked what went wrong with Iraq, she said:
We tried to rebuild Iraq from Baghdad out, and we really should have rebuilt Iraq from outside Baghdad in…We should have worked with the tribes, worked in the provinces…That’s something that in retrospect that we finally got right…And it’s one reason I think Iraq has a chance.
The Iraq war itself recently came under heavy fire from two House Republicans in California. Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) claims “In retrospect, almost all of us think that was a horrible mistake.” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s newly commissioned Iraq Inquiry has recently requested to interview senior officials from Bush’s cabinet (Rice among them) about all of the events surrounding the War in Iraq. The officials are of course under no obligation to cooperate, as the Iraq Inquiry commission has no authority in the United States. But its results could end up damaging the Bush Administrations Iraq War reputation even more.
On the other side of the fence, Rice supporters have put pressure on Rice to re-enter the political fray, but she has deflected this pressure so far. She did come out in early March, however, in support of Meg Whitman for California Governor.