Joint Chiefs Nominee Offers Straight Talk on Iraq

Admiral points to political solution
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2007 8:31 AM CDT
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., right, huddles with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., left, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 31, 2007, during the nomination...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The White House nominee to lead the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday the troop surge has helped security, but without political progress "no amount of troops and no amount of time will make a difference." Admiral Michael Mullen toed the administration line at his confirmation hearing, saying he'll withhold judgment on the surge until after the mid-September progress report.

Mullen impressed senators from both parties and will probably be easily confirmed, the LA Times reports. Meanwhile, July's death toll in Iraq was the lowest since November, Reuters reports. Seventy-four American troops were reported killed, a possible sign that the surge is having the intended effect. Meanwhile, more than 3,400 Iraqi civilians lost their lives in July.