A call by Puerto Rico's governor for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq earned a standing ovation from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen.
Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila said Saturday that the U.S. administration has "no new strategy and no signs of success" and that prolonging the war would needlessly put guardsmen in harm's way.
"The war in Iraq has fractured the political will of the United States and the world," he said at the opening of the 129th National Guard Association general conference. "Clearly, a new war strategy is required and urgently."
Acevedo said sending more troops to Iraq would be a costly blunder.
"By increasing the number of National Guard and reserve troops, we put our soldiers in danger for the umpteenth time since the beginning of the global war on terrorism," said the governor, adding U.S. territories and states need Guard reserves in the event of natural disasters and domestic disturbances.
Acevedo, a Democrat, has called on Washington to withdraw troops from Iraq in the past, but has not been a vocal critic of the war.
Col. David Carrion Baralt, the Guard's top official in the U.S. Caribbean territory, said Acevedo received a standing ovation. Read more...