WASHINGTON – Violence in Iraq is greater than the White House has acknowledged, and the outlook is even bleaker for 2007, author and journalist Bob Woodward said in comments to air Sunday night on CBS television's "60 Minutes."
Woodward, the Washington Post reporter whose third book on the Bush administration, "State of Denial," comes out next week, said U.S. troops and their allies are being attacked, on average, every 15 minutes.
"It's getting to the point now where there are eight, 900 attacks a week. That's more than a hundred a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces," Woodward said.
"The truth is that the assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon saying, 'Oh, no, things are going to get better."
Known for his access to high-level officials, Woodward said President Bush is so sure of success in the Iraq war that he told some leading Republicans, "I will not withdraw even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me."
Bush and his wife, Laura, have a Scottish terrier named Barney.
A senior administration official, who hadn't seen the book and spoke on condition of anonymity, said reviews of its contents did not suggest anything new.
"The president has been very frank with the country about the challenges we face in the war on terror — how ruthless, violent and determined our enemy is," the official said. "He's also repeatedly told the American people that it's going to take continued resolve and patience to win this war — that it's a long war, but one that we must win."
"Now what's Kissinger's advice?" Woodward said. "In Iraq, he declared very simply, 'Victory is the only meaningful exit strategy.'
"This is so fascinating. Kissinger's fighting the Vietnam War again because, in his view, the problem in Vietnam was we lost our will."
The reporting by Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal helped bring down the Nixon administration and earned the Post a Pulitzer Prize.