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Colin Powell Interview

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
Marylouise Kelly, NPR News /
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U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell

In his first one-on-one interview with the media since the start of the war in Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell says U.S. diplomatic efforts have helped to increase the number of nations now part of the so-called "coalition of the willing."

The United States may have lost the support of traditional European allies like France and Germany, but America is far from isolated, he says.

"There are some 47 willing nations in our coalition -- meaning they have taken a political decision to support our efforts," Powell tells NPR's Juan Williams.

Powell also calls U.N. Resolution 1441, passed in November 2002, a "major diplomatic triumph" that united the U.N. Security Council into taking a tougher stance against Saddam Hussein -- and that the current war in Iraq is a direct consequence of Iraq's active defiance.

"We -- the British, the Spanish, the Bulgarians and other nations -- felt that this lack of compliance was enough to trigger 1441 and cause serious consequences," he says.

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