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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Bleak assessment of Iraq

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New York, April 10, IRNA
The recommendation by the top American commander in Iraq to suspend troop reductions reflects a bleak assessment of Iraq in terms of responsibility of the occupying forces to guarantee security of the country under occupation.

In a second day of congressional testimony, the commander, General David Petraeus, left Democrats and some Republicans again frustrated as he steadfastly declined to spell out what more would have to happen on the ground before he would endorse withdrawals to take the number of American troops far below the 140,000 set to remain there after July.

In almost 20 hours of testimony over two days, Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the ambassador to Iraq, were much less specific than they were last September in assessing progress, prompting complaints that they presented no clear way for Congress or the American public to judge when or whether more troops might be on their way home.

In contrast to the information presented in September, the charts that Petraeus offered in his testimony did not include any showing combat troops dipping below the 15 combat brigades to remain in Iraq when the troop buildup ends in July.

Since a significant number of support and aviation troops that accompanied the five extra brigades into Iraq will remain, nearly 140,000 American military personnel - more than the 132,000 before the buildup - will be in place well into the fall and probably through Election Day.

In testimony on Wednesday, Crocker said his embassy was still preparing a report that would measure progress toward the 18 benchmarks that Congress set last year to help assess progress on the ground.

As the testimony concluded late on Wednesday, President George W. Bush was preparing to lay out his plans for Iraq when he speaks from the Cross Hall of the White House on Thursday morning.

Senior officials said the president would almost certainly endorse Petraeus's desire for sustained troop levels for at least 45 days after the final brigades from the troop increase leave.

But Bush is also expected to acknowledge the strain on the military by announcing that the current 15-month deployments to Iraq will be reduced to 12 months by August.

The president is not expected to detail the specific conditions on the ground in Iraq that would allow him to order large numbers of troops home before he leaves office.

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, voiced his party's criticism of the president's strategy on Wednesday, saying in a statement that "based on everything we have heard, we can reach only one conclusion: With 160,000 courageous American troops serving in Iraq, President George W. Bush has an exit strategy for just one man - himself - on January 20, 2009."

Iran has advised the US officials to go ahead with reconstruction drive instead of military operation in Iraq five years after occupation.

The reconstruction efforts will create million strong jobs for the people suffering from unemployment and family budget shortages.

If you don't provide the Iraqi people with livelihood security, they will never abandon mutiny against you, the occupying forces, they blame for all the maladies.


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