Without Security, Iraq Is A Lost Cause

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discusses U. S. policy in Iraq while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
AP Photo/Dennis Cook
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
I was reading a story in The New York Times today about how the military is complaining that the State Department has not done enough work in Iraq.

We heard those complaints last June. Brave, innovative soldiers from the Fourth Infantry Division had not only pacified the town of Sab Al Bor, but they were hard at work doing nation-building. For the first time in the city's history there was an elected town council, thanks to the U.S. Army.

The officers told me they'd done it on their own — and frankly they were mystified the State Department was not there. The answer, of course, is that it is too bloody dangerous for civilians outside of the green zone.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has promised State Department personnel for the President's troop buildup, but she says it will take six months to get her people ready.

These problems all go back to day one. How do you build a nation without security? Can't happen. Hasn't happened. Ain't happening.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith