U.S. Commander Warns Against Iraq Cutoff
The commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East today cautioned against beginning a phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq and recommended that current troop levels be maintained, but he said that all options remain open, including a "temporary" increase to help the Iraqi army become more effective.Abizaid told those like Democrat Carl Levin who are pushing for a timetable or a phased withdrawal that such action would weaken the Iraqi government. He also told those like John McCain, who are demanding more troops be sent, that more troops won't help. In other words "stay the course". The American people have said they have had enough "stay the course". The Democrats will not tolerate "stay the course" and the Republicans looking ahead to 2008 will have little tolerance for a "stay the course" policy that leaves Iraq on the table two years from now.
Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, who heads the U.S. Central Command, told a Senate panel that U.S. commanders on the ground and the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki both oppose the idea of significantly boosting U.S. forces in Iraq to help deal with intensifying sectarian violence. The U.S. commanders view such an option as contradicting their efforts to place more responsibility on Iraqi forces, and Maliki has told him it would undermine the government's authority, Abizaid said.