DEMOCRATIC SENATOR CARL LEVIN: Are We Winning the War in Iraq? BUSH'S 'NEW DONALD RUMSFELD': NO SIR
Byline: By RYAN PARRY US Correspondent
THE man who will take over from Donald Rumsfeld as US Defense Secretary yesterday said America is NOT winning the war in Iraq.
Robert Gates, asked by Democrat Carl Levin if the war was being won, said: "No, sir."
His views conflict with those of President George Bush.
Former CIA chief Mr Gates added: "What we are now doing is not satisfactory. In my view, all options are on the table, in terms of how we address this problem in Iraq."
Mr Gates, 63, was addressing a Senate hearing confirming his appointment. He is expected to get the thumbs up from the full Senate on Friday and plans to make Iraq his top priority.
But he warned that if Iraq is not stabilised in the next year or two then it could lead to meltdown in the Middle East - what he called "regional conflagration".
He said he believed Mr Bush wanted to see Iraq govern and defend itself. …