In a letter to Senator John McCain on Wednesday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote,
The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. To redefine Common Article 3 would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk.
In the letter, Secretary Powell errs in stating that Gen. George C. Marshall served as Secretary of Defense after World War II. In fact, he served as Secretary of State. This factual error, however, takes nothing away from the force of Secretary Powell's argument against the Bush administration's position on Common Article 3.