U.S. military plans to 'go long' in Iraq

U.S. military planners are considering a strategy to "go long" in Iraq, keeping a smaller force in the country for several years, The Washington Post reports.

 U.S. military plans to 'go long' in Iraq
U.S. military planners are considering a strategy to "go long" in Iraq, keeping a smaller force in the country for several years, The Washington Post reports.

The Post interviewed more than 20 military officers and officials in Baghdad, most of them wanting to remain anonymous. There are currently 150,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and the planners predicted that two-thirds would be on their way home by late 2008 or early 2009.

A Joint Chiefs of Staff planning committee considered three alternatives: "going home," "going big" or massively increasing U.S. forces and "going long," with about 50,000 soldiers remaining for some years. They would include a mechanized infantry division of about 20,000, 10,000 assigned to training Iraqi military and police, a Special Forces group of 10,000 targeting al-Qaida in Iraq and 10,000 supporting the others.

Officials reportedly believe the United States wasted the years between 2004 and 2006 with a strategy of transition to Iraqi government and the slogan "When they stand up, we'll stand down."

The 2005 election, they claim, only fueled sectarian violence.

"We wanted an election in the worst way, and we got one in the worst way," one U.S. general told the Post.
Last Mod: 10 Haziran 2007, 16:53
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