"The war in Iraq has fractured the political will of the United States and the world,” he said at the opening of the 129th National Guard Association general conference. “Clearly, a new war strategy is required and urgently.”
Acevedo said sending more troops to Iraq would be a costly blunder.
“By increasing the number of National Guard and reserve troops, we put our soldiers in danger for the umpteenth time since the beginning of the global war on terrorism,” said the governor, adding that U.S. territories and states need Guard reserves in the event of natural disasters and domestic disturbances.
Acevedo, a Democrat, has called on Washington to withdraw troops from Iraq in the past, but has not been a vocal critic of the war.
Col. David Carrion Baralt, the Guard’s top official in Puerto Rico, said Acevedo received a standing ovation.
“Maybe the [officers] were not expecting those kinds of comments, but having a dialogue is the point of conferences like these,” Carrion said by phone."