Hagel: Israelis warned U.S. on Iraq


Israeli security officials warned Americans about potential complications of an Iraq invasion, according to a U.S. senator.

Writing in his book released last week, “America: Our Next Chapter,” Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) excoriates the Bush administration for ignoring Middle East leaders who warned of a possible quagmire in Iraq before the 2003 invasion.

“Do you really understand what you are getting yourselves into?” he quotes Israeli officials as telling him.

Hagel expanded on the warnings in a recent interview with CNN.

“Every major leader in the Middle East that I talked to, and I certainly know the president and others talked to before we invaded Iraq, warned the president, warned the vice president, warned Secretary Powell not to do this,” said Hagel, a maverick Republican who opposed the war, referring to Colin Powell, then the secretary of state. “Even a number of senior Israeli officials warned them not to do it.”

In his book, Hagel advocates for an independent or bipartisan presidential ticket. He is leaving the Senate at the end of his term this year.


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