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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 11:11 GMT
Garner admits US errors in Iraq
General Jay Garner
Garner says he would have talked more with the Iraqis
The man the US initially put in charge of governing Iraq says mistakes were made after the coalition took charge.

Lieutenant General Jay Garner, who was replaced after less than a month, says the US could have communicated better with the Iraqi people.

In an interview with the BBC, he added that more US soldiers should have been sent to Iraq.

And he says more should have been done to restore electricity supplies.

General Garner, who was retired from the military when he took control in Iraq, said the US should have moved more quickly to establish a government in Iraq.

He said: "If we did it over again, we probably would have put more dismounted infantrymen in Baghdad and maybe more troops there."

Poor communication

The general also said he would have shipped in huge generators to supply electricity.

He added: "On my part I would certainly (have) done a better job on having communications with the Iraqi people."

The consequences of that is that Iraqi's now listen to Al-Jazeera, the Arab TV channel that the US accuses of colluding with insurgents to film attacks on coalition forces, he told the BBC.

On my part I would certainly (have) done a better job on having communications with the Iraqi people
General Garner

But General Garner said these poor communication links with the Iraqis had not strengthened opposition to the coalition.

He blamed that on hardcore supporters of Saddam Hussein's Baath party and international terrorists.

General Garner was replaced as the American's senior civil administrator in Iraq by Paul Bremer after initial reconstruction efforts did not go according to plan.

The change of personnel was also the result of rivalry in Washington between the Pentagon and the state department over who should be doing what in Iraq.


SEE ALSO:
Iraq's interim administrator
07 Apr 03  |  Americas
Iraqi leaders expected mid-May
05 May 03  |  Middle East
Baghdad talks chart way ahead
24 Apr 03  |  Middle East


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