The top US military commander in Iraq will ask President Bush to wait until as late as Depatember to decide when to bring home more troops than already scheduled. General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are supposed to tell Congress next month their recommendations for how many soldiers will be returned home. Petraeus has ben talking about a “period of assessment” which would provide a clearer indication as to how many members of the military could safely be returned. An official who briefed reporters at the White House said Petraeus was talking about a four to six week additional period of waiting before he could make final recommendations.
Secretary of Defense Gates has also indicated he savors suspension in withdrawal plans. Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently commented; “We don’t know how long the pause is going to last.”
The unspoken words about withdrawal of troops from Iraq is whether or not there might be additional need for troops in Afghanistan. Several European nations have indicated growing weariness with the apparent confused campaign in Afghanistan and might withdraw troops. There are reports the German parliament will refuse to extend the commitment of 3,000 German troops. What then? Will American troops take their place?
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Politics, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Afghanistan, Iaq, Petraeus, troop withdrawal
The Bush administration is sending strong signals that U.S. troop reductions in iraq will be slowed down or halted in the coming months, a move that would jeopardize hopes of relieving strain on the Army and Marine Corps and revive debate over an open-ended Americ an commitment in Iraq. This move is in response to pressure from military commanders in Iraq who fear any further reduction in the size of their forces would reverse the success they have achieved over the past few months in dealing with terrorism. General Petraeus is to report to the president and Congress in April about his recommendations regarding the size of US forces in the coming year. There are indications he believes it is best to halt further reduction and consolidate success. Bush emphasized in the State of the Union address he will base his decisions on recommendations of Petraeus.
A major problem is the uncertainty as to what will happen once the size of American forces in Iraq are cut back. Will the Sunni-led Awakening Movement be a factor in reducing insurgent attacks or will it become involved in fighting with Shiite troops who are loyal to the government?
An unknown factor in the coming year is the attitude of an incoming president in January, 2009. A President John McCain will undoubtedly continue the Bush policy of relying on recommendations of General Petraeus. A president Obama is probably the most difficult to gauge in terms of troop reductions.
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Peace, Politics, Republicans, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Iraq, Petraeus, troop reductions
Geneal Petraeus indicated there had been significant progress in reducing the al-Qaida presence in certain areas of Baghdad. Although there has been a reduction in violence, Petraeus indicated, al-Qaida remained a “very dangerous and very lethal enemy.” There were car bombings in Baghdad and ten tribal leaders, who had arrived in Baghdad for meetings regarding their efforts to cooperate with the US and the Iraq government, were kidnapped and most probably will meet with harm from al-Qaida. General Petraeus also noted in several provinces of Iraq although the violence has declined, there is an atmosphere in which a “focus on crime and on extortion has been ongoing.”
A major issue connected with the “surge” is how long will American forces remain in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq. A possibility for the reduction in violence may stem from al-Aqida remaining quiet in order to wait out the American departure before resuming their attacks.
Posted in Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged al-Qaida, Iraq, Petraeus, US military