Iraq forces 'need extra US help'


The top US commander in Iraq has expressed concern about the ability of Iraqi forces to cope with security in the run-up to elections next month.
The head of Central Command, General John Abizaid, said Iraqi troops did not have the training or experience to do the job without extra American help.

At least 14 people died in bomb attacks in Baghdad and Mosul on Saturday.

However, Gen Abizaid said border security had improved, with less infiltration by foreign insurgents.
At last - a senior figure has admitted what has been obvious for some time now. The big question for the US now is whether they are prepared to deploy more troops or whether they want to fudge an election and run away smartish, blaming the locals for subsequent disorder.

Trouble is, deploying more troops for the foreseeable future means either pulling troops out of other parts of the world or increasing the size of the US Army. I get the feeling they've been surging up until now and at some point something will give. There's only so many times you can extend units in theatre after all.

And before I forget where does this leave the UK ? Can we realistically step up our deployment while simultaneously cutting the infantry needed to do the same ?
Several brigades are being extended by only 2 months. A brigade of the 82d will begin to deploy to Iraq and will remain til March. These moves will provide 12,000 additional troops on top of the new units rotating into Iraq after the first of the year. The Army is adding 30,000 spaces to the active force and more increases may be sought. Some analysts are discussing an increase of the DoD budget to $500-600 billion to pay for as many as 100,000 troops. Resistance by the SECDEF to more troop increases would have to be dropped, but the current pressure on the Guard and Reserve may force a change in policy.

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