Thursday, September 14, 2006

America may stay for years, despite presence of Iraqi troops

"On overall security in Iraq, lawmakers pressed Edelman and Rear Adm. William D. Sullivan, vice director for strategic plans and policy on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on why the growth of Iraq's military and police forces has not yet permitted a reduction in the number of U.S. troops, which increased to 140,000 over the summer.
. . . [Sullivan] said the emergence of sectarian violence in addition to the Sunni insurgency has led U.S. commanders to decide 'that they cannot afford to draw down our own troop levels while the Iraqis are still building up theirs.'
Sullivan conceded that in the longer term, because Iraq's military has been trained and outfitted primarily to fight an insurgency, rather than to defend Iraq against foreign attack, U.S. forces could be required as backup for many years.
. . . He said the intent in developing Iraq's military was to create a force 'that would have a modicum of its own self-defense capability without being an army that could threaten its neighbors.' Iraqi leaders are still trying to 'figure out what kind of military ultimately they need,' he said."

source
The Washington Post. Pentagon Weighing Report On Anbar. September 12, 2006.

posted: thursday, september 14, 2006, 12:05 PM ET
update: thursday, september 14, 2006, 12:23 PM ET

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