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Retired general sees Iraq endgame

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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-11-08 06:58 AM
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Retired general sees Iraq endgame
By William H. McMichael - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Nov 10, 2008 19:06:10 EST

The U.S. is clearly in the endgame in Iraq, a retired general and defense analyst says in his latest report on the war, adding that security and economic gains in Iraq are unlikely to be reversible and that the U.S. is on track to withdraw most of its combat forces within the next 36 months.

And although continued success in Iraq and the deteriorating security situation in neighboring Afghanistan likely will force a more rapid forced drawdown than desirable in Iraq to boost troop strength, retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey said he feels the U.S. will successfully manage this tricky balance.

McCaffreys estimate that any U.S. withdrawal should take place over 36 months is twice the 18-month timeframe proposed by President-elect Barack Obama during the presidential campaign. Obama added the caveat that he would pursue a withdrawal in that timeframe if conditions allow and military commanders agree.

The after-action report, the sixth in a series that have followed McCaffreys visits to Iraq on behalf of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he is an adjunct professor of international affairs, was based on interviews and meetings with dozens of U.S. and Iraqi military and civilian leaders and officials, from the rank of command sergeant major up to U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Multi-National Force-Iraq commander Army Gen. Ray Odierno.

McCaffrey, pointing out that the report was not submitted for clearance by MNF-I and is an unclassified and objective analysis of the situation in Iraq, touted a dramatically improved security situation, not only in terms of decreased attacks on civilians and U.S. troop deaths, but also in ethnic strife that has all but stopped; substantial improvements in Iraqi Security Forces; new economic ties between Turkey and the semi-autonomous Kurdish north; and increasingly competent leadership in Iraqs defense and interior ministries.

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hendo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-11-08 08:01 AM
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1. The endgame in in progress?
I will believe it when I see it.
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