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”.
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.