In one of the sharpest exchanges of the campaign, Mr. Webb and Mr. Allen
squared off on the war in Iraq on “Meet the Press” on NBC on Sunday, with Mr.
Allen defending the Bush administration’s policy and denouncing the
“second-guessing and Monday-morning quarterbacking” of the critics. “We’re going
to need to do what it takes to succeed,” Mr. Allen said, when asked if he would
support additional troops in Iraq, “because it’s essential to the security of
the United States of America.”
Mr. Webb responded: “I know what it’s like to be on the ground. I know
what it’s like to fight a war like this, and either — there are limits to what
the military can do. Eventually, this is going to have to move into a diplomatic
environment, and that’s where this administration seems to have blinders. They
are not talking to Syria, they are not talking to Iran, and there are ways that
we can do this, move this forward.”
Mr. Webb also took several digs at what he called theorists in the
administration and among its allies who know combat only in the abstract. Mr.
Allen, like the majority of the current Congress, did not serve in the
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