However, he made plain that the new strategy in America's 'long war' against al-Qaida and its affiliates would ensure that US forces, when they left Iraq, would not be far away.So, we'll still be there, just not where we can be seen and hurt. Notice the mention of Iran. Think they'd do it again? Much?
The US would have 'sufficient forces to deter, and to protect partners and its key national interests' in the region, Brig Gen Kimmitt said.
And he said that America's preoccupations in Iraq should not lead to what he called 'misunderstandings' about its ability to conduct other operations in the area. The US would 'retain sufficient military capability' to strike Iran, he said. Those who believed otherwise were making a 'very serious mistake', he added.
He made it clear that under America's military 'reposturing', its forces would be withdrawn from army bases in Iraq and other countries in the region, although the US will keep its Bagram base in Afghanistan under a new 'strategic agreement' signed by the two countries.
With that exception, the idea is to base fewer, more mobile, special forces - along with strike aircraft - further afield, where their presence would be less visible and less provocative.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | US general maps out strategic refit for Iraq, Middle East and Asia:
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