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Troop Withdrawal From Iraq Within Twelve Months

Financial Times - The US is expected to pull significant numbers of troops out of Iraq in the next 12 months in spite of the continuing violence, according to the general responsible for near-term planning in the country.

Maj Gen Douglas Lute, director of operations at US Central Command, yesterday said the reductions were part of a push by Gen John Abizaid, commander of all US troops in the region, to put the burden of defending Iraq on Iraqi forces.

He denied the withdrawal was motivated by political pressure from Washington.

He said: "We believe at some point, in order to break this dependence on the . . . coalition, you simply have to back off and let the Iraqis step forward.

"You have to undercut the perception of occupation in Iraq. It's very difficult to do that when you have 150,000-plus, largely western, foreign troops occupying the country."

While he cautioned that any troop reduction would be conditional on continued political progress and ongoing improvement in Iraqi force training, he said Centcom planners believed "the political process will play out, that we will see a constitution, that we will see, by some political machinations, the Sunnis brought into the process and we will proceed to national elections in December".

Excellent news.

I never understand why stories like these don't get more attention. While the anti-war left demands that the troops be brought home there is light at the end of the tunnel in Iraq. Saddam Hussein has been deposed. A new government has been elected. We're expecting a constitution for the country any day now and the Iraqi security forces are taking over operations more and more every day. There is every indication that soon we will be able to bring our troops home with them having completed their mission in Iraq.

Isn't this what everybody, regardless of political proclivities, wanted?

(via Peat Bog)

By Rob Port of Say Anything.

Comments (8)

This is what everyone wants... (Below threshold)

This is what everyone wants, but for different reasons. *We* want it because it will mean we've done what we started, and left the Iraqi people with the fundamentals for their own country's policies and freedom. The others want the troops to leave with the job incomplete so they can gloat about how right they were, no matter what the cost to our troops and the Iraqis.

If we can start drawing dow... (Below threshold)

If we can start drawing down troops and expedite shifting of security responsibilites to Iraqis, then that would be ideal whatever the timeframe. If infrastructure and stability maintenance supports that step-wise reduction of resources next month, OK. If it makes more sense to begin in 6 months, OK. 12 months? Fine. 3 years? OK, too. I'd just prefer that such contigencies NOT be announced so that terrorists/insurgents can more readily plan their assault strategy.

Now, when are we going to start drawing down troop levels in South Korea and Western Europe? Haven't they been there long enough? Are they still needed in such numbers to ensure American or allied security? Has the anti-war Left advocated such a position? Or is it only soldiers in active, deadly conflict that draws interest and pleading for withdrawal? DefSec Rumsfeld has advanced that idea of shifting troops from what could be considered "secure" locales to the more "unsecured" ones, yet some complain. I have yet to understand their logic.

I guess as far as announcements go, I'd rather hear about the shifting of those other troops first before the disclosure of soldier logistics in a combat zone.

It's not soldiers in any pa... (Below threshold)

It's not soldiers in any particular place, the anti-war left ignored Kosovo. It has nothing to do with where they are, only with who sent them. Truman kept our soldiers in Europe 60 years ago and the left loves that still, it's our tax dollars defending another goup of leftists. They'd really love to cry fake tears over Korea but Truman got us into that one too. They ramped up the lying whe Viet Nam rolled aroung, they ignored the fact that Kennedy got us into and Johnson escalated and look back on it now and refer to it as Nixon's war. The smelly hippies aren't protesting any of the left's senators or representatives that voted for the Iraq war or calling any of them liars for claiming that Saddam had WMD before Bush was ever elected. The anti-war vermin's complaints are nothing more than hypocrisy, the main form of dishonesty the left relies on to further their dishonest ideology. There's not a single honest person involved with the anti-war protests, just a bunch of America hating trash who aren't worthy of anyone risking their lives to protect.

Back in Jan/Feb there were ... (Below threshold)

Back in Jan/Feb there were reports that the US was planning a major force drawdown in 18 months. They were substantiated by claims from the Iraqi For Min who said foreign troops would be out of Iraq in 18 months. At the time, the left blew it off as a Rovian 2006 campaign plot. Interestingly enough, the US DOES have a UN mandate to be in Iraq right now. It was given right after the invasion as the UN determined that the US was responsible for stabilizing the nation, and had to stay until it was done, until the Iraqis asked them to leave, or until some time in 2006. Anyone wants more info....google 18months Iraq withdrawl, AND/OR check the UN website for resolutions re Iraq.


The story is underreported ... (Below threshold)

The story is underreported because either:

(a) it's good news, and good news isn't as big a draw as either Bush-Bashing Bad News or Attractive White Women Who Have Gone Mission or Celebrities Doing Exactly What Normal People Do


(b) it's against the "liberal media" agenda

I put "liberal media" in quotes so that, if you believe there is one, you can agree with me, and if you believe there isn't one, you can pretend I was being satirical. Either way is fine with me.

Or because the withdrawal h... (Below threshold)

Or because the withdrawal has NOTHING to do with the protests. If it had to do with the protests, the media would be all over it with even "alleged" thrown in there.

A note of caution though ab... (Below threshold)

A note of caution though about troop withdrawals. The US has the most enormous firepower in the world and they are struggling at times with the insurgency. The Iraqi army is light infantry, poorly trained by western standards and completely at sea when it comes to counter-insurgency.

Training to deal with the situations these people will face takes years. To this day, they rely on the US for almost everything - including getting to and from the action - and, when the going gets tough, it's US air power that gets them out of bother.

I am an English conservative who is quite sceptical about this whole war but I am pragmatic enough to realise it's done now and the best thing is for a peaceful and successful conclusion where few - if anyone - loses.

Nothing would make me happier to see America come out of this having done a good job. For that reason, if the pressure to withdraw troops has a domestic politics source, President Bush may be best advised to resist it and leave them where they are. It's difficult for anybody to do a good job in Iraq at the moment. The best job possible is the one his troops will do. Pulling out early could be the disaster the liberal-left craves.

Don't give it to them.


The US has the most enor... (Below threshold)

The US has the most enormous firepower in the world and they are struggling at times with the insurgency.

That's because enormous firepower isn't the most important thing in this situation. What matters in this situation isn't how much firepower you have, but how cleanly you can bring it down on the enemy while minimizing collateral damage.

And even with our vast technological advantage, that's still a huge challenge. That's what we're struggling with, not the "insurgency" per se.






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