What's Up In Iraq? Here's Your Answer


In Iraq's South, U.S. Commanders Good to Go
General Says Forces Are No Longer Needed, Iraqis up to Task
(Chicago Tribune, Feb. 26, 2009, Pg. 11)
Even as American forces prepare to take over in March from the departing British in southern Iraq, it is already clear that many of the 17,500 troops in the area are not needed. The U.S. force includes 12,500 combat troops who these days see little combat. Any threats that linger in the nine provinces of the south are nothing that cannot be handled by Iraqi security forces without U.S. help, says Maj. Gen. Raad Shaker Jawdat, the police chief in Wasit province. Maj. Gen. Michael Oates, who commands U.S. forces in southern Iraq, says, "I actually think we've turned a corner in southern Iraq, and I don't think we're going to return to violence."

An Antiterror Role for Holdover Troops
(Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 26, 2009)
Some of the U.S. forces likely to remain in Iraq after President Obama withdraws combat troops would still have a combat role fighting suspected terrorists, the Pentagon said. Obama could announce his withdrawal strategy as early as tomorrow when he travels to Camp Lejeune, N.C. While there, he is expected to outline a compromise withdrawal plan that leaves behind as many as 50,000 troops for cleanup and protection operations. A Pentagon spokesman said that those troops would have three primary functions: training and helping Iraqi forces, protecting Americans and U.S. assets participating in limited counterterrorism operations in which Iraqi forces would take the lead.

Obama's Iraq Plan Has December Elections as Turning Point for Pullout
(New York Times, Feb. 26, 2009)
President Obama's planned Iraq troop drawdown would leave the bulk of American forces in place until early next year, while some combat units would remain in place in new roles even beyond a declared August 2010 target for withdrawal, administration officials said. The plan would maintain relatively high troop levels through Iraq's parliamentary elections, to be held in December, before beginning in earnest to meet the August 2010 target for removing combat forces. Even after August 2010, as many as 50,000 of the 142,000 troops now in Iraq would remain, including some combat units reassigned as "Advisory Training Brigades" or "Advisory Assistance Brigades," according to the administration and Pentagon officials.


Coalition Deaths Climb in Afghanistan
(Wall Street Journal, Feb. 26, 2009, Pg. 8)
A roadside bombing in Afghanistan that killed four British soldiers highlighted a disturbing trend: Coalition fatalities, which have declined in past winters, instead have been spiking to record levels amid increasingly fierce fighting throughout the country. The explosion occurred a day after four U.S. soldiers were killed elsewhere in southern Afghanistan. The two blasts pushed this month's coalition death toll to at least 23, a higher level than in any previous February.

Send More Troops, Says Helmand Governor
(London Daily Telegraph, Feb. 26, 2009, P. 19)
The governor of Helmand has called for more British and American troops to be sent to the Afghan province's poorly-defended southern border with Pakistan. Speaking during his first visit to London, the governor, Gulab Mangal, said that the 100-mile frontier was not controlled by either international or Afghan forces.

Majority of Americans Back President on Afghanistan
(Washington Post, Feb. 26, 2009, Pg. 10)
About two-thirds of Americans support President Obama's decision to send approximately 17,000 additional U.S. military forces to Afghanistan, and, in stark contrast to the sour public reception of former president George W. Bush's "surge" of troops in Iraq, support for Obama's move crosses party lines, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Support for the proposed influx of troops, however, comes as Americans are about evenly divided about whether the war there has proved to be worth its costs. They also split 50 to 41 percent on whether it is essential to win in Afghanistan to succeed in broader efforts against terrorism.

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1 Response Feb 26, 2009

thanks chica!!