Cuts In Iraq Troops Unlikely

#1
The U.S. military is unlikely to reduce forces in Iraq before next spring because the current contingent of more than 140,000 troops is battling sectarian violence that could prove "fatal" to the country if not arrested, the top American commander for the Middle East said yesterday.

"This level will probably have to be sustained through the spring" amid aggressive operations to stabilize Baghdad, said Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, chief of the U.S. Central Command. "I do believe that the secular tensions, if left unchecked, could be fatal to Iraq . . . and the center of the problem is Baghdad. It's the main effort," he told defense reporters.

In a sober assessment, Abizaid, who has overseen the U.S. military strategy in Iraq since July 2003, said he had hoped six months ago for the withdrawal of several thousand U.S. troops from Iraq by now. "We clearly did not achieve the force levels that we had hoped to," he said, citing sectarian unrest, ongoing weaknesses in the capabilities of Iraqi security forces -- in particular the police -- and the five-month political void in the country after the December 2005 national elections.


Article in full

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/19/AR2006091900459.html
 

OldSnowy

LE
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#2
Having got shot of Al Muthanna Province two months ago, Dhi Qar Province is going tomorrow:

http://www.timesofoman.com/newsdetails.asp?newsid=35578

which leaves us (Well, mainly us, but also all the others in MND(S), such as the Australians, Danes, Romanians, etc) with Maysaan and Basra. Two down, two to go. At least in the South we are in a position to give the Iraqis control of their own destinies. What they make of them is entirely up to them now.
 
#3
OldSnowy said:
At least in the South we are in a position to give the Iraqis control of their own destinies. What they make of them is entirely up to them now.
And thank Fcuk for that, roll on the return of the other two.
 

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