Powell Tried to Warn Bush on Iraq, Book Says

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Colin L. Powell, in his last face-to-face meeting with President Bush before stepping down as secretary of state in January 2005, tried to impress upon him one last time the dangers he saw the United States facing in Iraq, according to a new Powell biography.

The insurgency was growing and the country was spiraling into sectarian bloodshed, Mr. Powell warned. Elections in Iraq would not solve the problems, and the president’s ability to act decisively was being crippled by divisions within his own administration, according to the account in “Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell” (Knopf, 2006) by Karen DeYoung, an associate editor at The Washington Post. Mr. Bush appeared disengaged, the book says, and brushed off Mr. Powell’s complaints about dysfunction in his government.

The book is among the latest accounts of the divisions in the administration as it hurtled toward war and stumbled through its aftermath. The Powell biography provides further detail on his early misgivings about the war and the size of the force assembled to fight it, doubts that have been reported in several other books, including those by Ms. DeYoung’s colleague at The Post, Bob Woodward.

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