[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 22 October 2006, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
US 'cannot stay course' in Iraq
Funeral for US Marine
At least 79 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq in October
The US is not winning in Iraq and will not be able to stay the course in the long-term, a US state department insider has said.

Former intelligence official Wayne White told the BBC that violence in Iraq was "getting worse".

A senior US state department official earlier said that the US has shown "arrogance and stupidity" in Iraq.

But the department distanced itself from the comments, saying Mr Fernandez had been mistranslated.

'We're not winning'

Mr White was the head of the state department's Iraq intelligence section until last year.

He told the BBC that the US position in Iraq was untenable.

The coalition should stay in Iraq. We owe the people that much
Mark, New Zealand

"The effort can't be sustained over the long haul, and so we can't stay a course, I think, that requires years and years more."

He said: "We're not winning. It's apparent.

"I checked with almost a dozen sources in Baghdad in just the last 24 hours," Mr White said. "Every single one of them answered the question as to whether the violence was lessening, or getting worse, with - 'worse'."

Change of tactics

His remarks came after state department official Alberto Fernandez told Qatar-based Arabic television channel al-Jazeera that "without doubt, there was arrogance and stupidity by the United States in Iraq".

Mr Fernandez is an Arabic speaker who is director of public diplomacy in the state department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

The BBC's James Westhead in Washington says that while there is no official change in US strategy, change is on everyone's lips.

President George W Bush said that US troops were changing tactics to deal with the insurgency in Iraq.

Mr Bush held a video conference on the new measures with top US military commanders in Iraq on Saturday against the backdrop of more US losses in Iraq - at least 79 so far this month.

A new poll suggests two-thirds of Americans believe the US is losing the war in Iraq, a proportion which analysts say could translate into a drubbing at the polls for Mr Bush's Republican Party in next month's mid-term elections.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific