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Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2007

General says troop surge should end by August ‘08

August 18, 2007

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— The U.S military will begin pulling out the additional troops it sent to Iraq as part of the so-called surge next spring and will have completed their withdrawal by next August, the No. 2 American commander in Iraq said Friday.

Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno also said that Shiite factions now are producing nearly as much violence in Iraq as the Sunni extremist group al-Qaida in Iraq. When the surge began, the military said al-Qaida in Iraq was responsible for most of the attacks.

Odierno's comments likely reflect the thinking of Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, who's preparing a highly anticipated report to Congress on the progress of U.S. strategy in Iraq. That report must be delivered by Sept. 15.

"The surge, we all know, will end sometime in 2008, in the beginning of 2008," Odierno told reporters in a teleconference. "We know that the surge brigades will leave at 15 months, so that will be somewhere between April and August of '08 when those units will leave based on the 15-month rotation."

Odierno said it was possible Petraeus could ask for new troops to replace those units as they depart, but that "right now, our plan is not to backfill those units." He said the 28,000 troops that make up the surge had taken five months to deploy and would take about that long to bring home.

Military officials have acknowledged that maintaining the surge after spring would be impossible under current Pentagon regulations requiring that troops be given one year at home between combat deployments.

Odierno didn't comment on what might happen after the additional U.S. forces leave. U.S. officials have claimed that the surge plan has cut violence, but they've also expressed concern that the violence could resume once U.S. troops are reduced because there's been no attempt at reconciliation between rival Sunni and Shiite groups.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government is floundering and shows no signs of passing legislation on the nation's most divisive issues, including how to distribute oil revenue and when to hold provincial elections. The Bush administration had said that a reduction in violence from the surge would enable Iraqi legislators to deal with such issues and build a government that could hold Iraq together.

Instead, military officials in Baghdad fret that as soon as they pull back from the capital, the violence will return, just as it did after the U.S. pulled back from its last Baghdad operation nearly a year ago.

Odierno said the longer U.S. forces work with their Iraqi counterparts, the more apt they will be able to retain control of neighborhoods.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

Wow, and just in time for the presidential election. What a coincidence.

Mkh 7 years, 4 months ago

"Party at my place on November 3rd, 2008!"

You must have hope that we are going to end up with something better after the '08 election. I admire your optimism, but question it's credibility.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 4 months ago

The defeat-icans have had enough. They are cutting-and-running. Only about 2 years and 1000 american soldiers' lives after the pro-war democrats first realized their mistake.

Let the rhythm method begin...

50YearResident 7 years, 4 months ago

Mkh says, You must have hope that we are going to end up with something better after the '08 election. I admire your optimism, but question it's credibility.

I say, From the bottom of the barrel there is only one way to go, up!

chet_larock 7 years, 4 months ago

Just keep your heads on straight, you guys. Anyone looks good compared to the current administration but let's not lose our objectivity - putting another idiot in the place of the current one isn't necessarily a recipe for success. That said, given the current field of candidates, we might not have a choice. Let's just make sure we choose the best idiot. It's too bad that the people who actually deserve it, and who would actually be competent and capable don't have a snowball's chance in h3ll of getting nominated.

Mkh 7 years, 4 months ago

Well, like I said, I admire your optimism. However, if we end up electing Clinton, Gouliani, Romney, Obama, Edwards, Thompson, etc...we are going to be right back where we started. And I'm afraid your little party would be in vain.

You say you hate 99% of Congress and the un-elected man in the White House. But at the rate this campaign is going, we are going to "elect" either a member of that Congress or someone else who agrees with Bush's Global War and Global Insitutions of Politics and Finance.

What will you really be celebrating? Were you also celebrating the Dems winning in '06? How'd did that work out for us?

There are only two main party candidates worth supporting or celebrating, Dennis Kucinich on the left, and Ron Paul on the right. If you think anyone else wants to change the staus-quo then you suffer from severe delusions of grandeur.

Mkh 7 years, 4 months ago

Logrithmic,

If Nadar runs again I too will probably vote for him (given the likely options at the moment). However, that is a big "if", what if he doesn't run? Or, perhaps even worse, what if he doesn't get into the race until it's too late to win? Both the Dems and Reps have their Machines in full throttle. What will you do then, after the two parties have Appointed your leaders for you?

You believe in Kucinich's message but he isn't angry enough for you? I think if anything he needs to get more angry. I thought you were upset with the status-quo, aren't you passionate about turning the country in a new direction? Is Dennis not good looking enough for you? If not, check out his wife, that ought to get you going. If your waiting for Michael Douglas to enter the race I wouldn't hold my breath.

As for as Dr. Ron Paul, clearly you are only viewing him through your own partisian lens. You'll note before, that I stated Paul is the best on the "Right". Meaning if you are a True Traditional Conservative, Dr. Ron Paul Is the only candidate you should be endorsing. You should not back the Neo-Cons if you are an old school Conservative because they are Not Conservatives! Neo-Cons are Global Elites who went to the far far Hawkish stance. Hillary Clinton is a Neo-Con just as much as Gouliani.

So my point about Paul is, If you are on the Right, then he is clearly the best option on the table. If you are on the Left (which you seem to be), then I would endorse Kucinich. Personally I have donated to both Paul's and Kucinich's campaigns (though more to Kucinich at the moment).

Why? Because those are the only main party candidates who understand the 2 Key Issues of our time and who will stand up to the Global Elites. The First issue being Foreign Policy, especially in the middle east. The Second being global trade. Paul and Kucinich are the only ones right now who will radically change these two things. They are the ones who will not only end the War, but change our foreign policy to make our country strong and safe again, not overstretched building an Empire.

Also these two are the Only main party candidates who will get us out of WTO, NAFTA, FTAA, IMF, etc, etc. They are the only ones who will stop these global institutions from stealing American Liberty and Economic Prosperity.

To me, those issues trump anything else in National politics (with the exception of Peak Oil, but that is tied into Foreign Policy)

Mkh 7 years, 4 months ago

Interestingly, I heard today that now the long awaited Holy Grail report from General Petraeus , is actually going to be filtered through the White House, and released only as a part of the White Houses' own evaluation of the Surge. Of course it will be centered around the resounding chorus...(wait for it)...Stay The Course!

The entire point of the report was suppose to be that Congress could get a direct report from the General and not the White House. Obviously the Administration didn't like this idea.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 4 months ago

While I do admire Kucinich and Paul (and not so much Nader anymore), America cannot afford to be idealistic. This is what delivered us GWB. As Americans, we need to be practical in this next election.

We do not have a parliamentary system where seats are divided by vote percentages and a coalition elects a prime minister.

We have a "winner-take-all" system. Votes siphoned away from Gore by Nader and by ex-metalheads still pissed at the PMRC cost Gore the election. Nader's 3% would have easily put Gore out of any range of republican dirty tricks and supreme court decisions.

The mainstream candidates are not perfect, and indeed they are career politicians, making them distasteful to many ideologues. I encourage you to hold your nose and vote for a candidate with a realistic chance.

Mkh 7 years, 4 months ago

"The mainstream candidates are not perfect, and indeed they are career politicians, making them distasteful to many ideologues. I encourage you to hold your nose and vote for a candidate with a realistic chance."

Why? How do you know who has a "realistic chance"? Is it just who the Media tells you has a chance? That's not a democratic process, so why even bother voting. Do you think there will be major difference between President Bush and President Hillary Clinton?

Your logic refutes the entire purpose of our electorial process.

Mkh 7 years, 4 months ago

Worst: "I encourage you to hold your nose and vote for a candidate with a realistic chance."


You mean someone like this?

August 18, 2007 Ron Paul Wins NH Straw Poll Posted by Lew Rockwell at August 18, 2007 04:08 PM

Ron takes the Strafford County, NH, GOP straw poll today by another landslide:

Out of 286 votes cast:

Ron - 208 (73%) Romney - 26 Huckabee - 20 Tancredo - 8 McCain - 7 Cox - 5 Hunter - 5 Fred Thompson - 3 Giuliani - 3 Brownback - 1

August 18, 2007 Ron Paul Wins By Landslide in Alabama Straw Poll Posted by Chris Brunner at August 18, 2007 01:59 PM

Tom Tancredo - 0 (0%) Sam Brownback - 2 (.75%) John McCain - 2 (.75%) Mike Huckabee - 6 (2%) Rudy Giuliani - 7 (3%) Fred Dalton Thompson - 9 (3%) Duncan Hunter - 10 (4%) Mitt Romney - 14 (5%) Ron Paul - 216 (81%)

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