US Reviewing Iraq Strategy

Top US military officials have begun a broad review of Washington's strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Bush administration's so-called "war on terror", reported The New York Times on Saturday, November 11.

US Reviewing Iraq Strategy

Citing Pentagon officials, The Times said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace had ordered a deep look into the US strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other flashpoints.

The review also looks into "unorthodox ideas" on the Bush administration's so-called "war on terror".

"We have to give ourselves a good honest scrub about what is working and what is not working, what are the impediments to progress and what should we change about the way we are doing it to make sure that we get to the objective that we set for ourselves," General Pace has said in an interview with CBS.

"I am looking at it with the Joint Chiefs. We're making our recommendations. We're having our dialogue."

The review is being made by a team of some of the military's brightest and most innovative officers.

Speaking on his weekly address on Friday, November 10, Bush described his new defense secretary as "agent of change".

"He has experience leading large and complex organizations, and he has shown that he is an agent of change," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

"As secretary of defense, he will provide a fresh outlook on our strategy in Iraq, and what we need to do to prevail."

"We have to give ourselves a good honest scrub about what is working and what is not working," Pace said.

Gates was named secretary defense on Wednesday, November 8, to replace embattled Donald Rumsfeld following the sweeping Democrat victory in the midterm Congress elections.

"More Focused"

The review has included a number of ideas on tackling the raging bloodshed in the US occupied country.

Among the discussed ideas were adjusting the number of US troops in Iraq and increasing the size of the Iraqi security troops and their equipment, The Times said.

The review reflects the recognition that military efforts need to be part of an overall approach that includes all aspects of American power, including diplomatic and economic.

"We'll make the changes that are needed to get ourselves more focused on the correct objectives," Pace said.

Pentagon officials said the review is being coordinated with the rest of the government.

However, the military team had not yet met with members of the Iraq Study which looks into options for Iraq.

Bush is planned to be meeting Monday, November 13, with the nascent group, headed by former secretary of state, James A. Baker, and Lee H. Hamilton, a former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The group, which is set to give its recommendation by the end of this month, originally has the new defense minister Gates among its members.

Violence between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq has escalated since a 2003 US-led invasion toppled former president Saddam Hussein.

The International Organization for Migration said that the number of Iraqis fleeing their homes to escape sectarian strife is rising dramatically, and has now reached almost 9,000 per week.

United Nations and Iraq medical sources estimate that more than a 100 people are dying daily in sectarian violence across the country.

Dozens of bullet-riddled bodies surface across Iraq every week.

Iraq's health ministry said Friday that some 150,000 people have been killed since the 2003 US-led invasion, more than three times the previously agreed upon figure.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16