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Petraeus Says He Will Propose Troop Cuts

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by trickblue, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament...

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    This is FANTASTIC news...
    Petraeus Says He Will Propose Troop Cuts
    Aug 15 02:14 PM US/Eastern
    Associated Press Writer

    BAGHDAD (AP) -
    The top American commander in Iraq said Wednesday he was preparing recommendations on troop cuts before he returns to Washington next month for a report to Congress, and believes the U.S. footprint in Iraq will have to be "a good bit smaller" by next summer.

    But he cautioned against a quick or significant U.S. withdrawal that could surrender "the gains we have fought so hard to achieve."

    Gen. David Petraeus said the "horrific and indiscriminate attacks" that killed at least 250 Yazidis, an ancient religious sect, in northwestern Iraq Tuesday night were the work of al-Qaida in Iraq. That would bolster his argument, he said, against too quickly drawing down the 30,000 additional U.S. troops deployed in the first half of the year.

    The general issued his comments to a small group of reporters who accompanied him to the headquarters of a group of former Sunni insurgents who are now working with American and Iraqi forces against al-Qaida in western Baghdad's Amariyah neighborhood.

    Petraeus listened intently as the so-called Freedom Fighters' 40-year- old leader, who uses the nom-de-guerre Abu Abed, explained his transformation and said he switched sides because al-Qaida was ravaging the neighborhood and trying to impose its austere version of Islam.

    Members of the neighborhood volunteer army milled about, U.S.-supplied pistols strapped to their hips and AK-47 automatic rifles at the ready. Petraeus reviewed a short line of the auxiliary force and shook hands with each man.

    Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh, who unexpectedly accompanied Petraeus, promised Abed that the neighborhood—now that it was calmer—would receive priority government attention for its crumbling infrastructure.

    Petraeus asked Abed if he would do an interview with an Iraqi television crew that had joined the tour and tell Sunnis who fled the district to return to their homes because it was now safer. The diminutive Abed agreed and promised his protection to returnees.

    Petraeus, who wrote the Army's book on counterinsurgency, said he and his staff were "trying to do the battlefield geometry right now" as he prepared his troop-level recommendations.

    "We know that the surge has to come to an end, there's no question about that. I think everyone understands that by about a year or so from now we've got to be a good bit smaller than we are right now.

    "The question is how do you do that ... so that you can retain the gains we have fought so hard to achieve and so you can keep going. Again we are not at all satisfied where we are right now. We have made some progress but again there's still a lot of hard work to be done against the different extremist elements that do threaten the new Iraq."

    Petraeus said the shift in loyalty among many Sunni insurgents in Iraq's western Anbar province, Baghdad's Amariyah district and a similar hotspot in the city called Ghazaliyah was "a pretty big deal."

    "You have to pinch yourself a little to make sure that is real because that is a very significant development in this kind of operation in counterinsurgency," he said. "It's all about the local people. When all the sudden the local people are on the side of the new Iraq instead of on the side of the insurgents or even al-Qaida, that's a very significant change."

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  2. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    Good news.

    I just hope the Iraqi government can get off their butts and do something.

    Hopefully this may also help in turn around times in tours. Give our men and women a little longer break between tours.
  3. iceberg

    iceberg nothing is nothing Zone Supporter

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    agreed. the people have to want the change and be willing to put up with short term, even long term, discomfort to get it.

    my ? is - if we just left iraq, does the al queda want iraq or just us out of there? would AQ work to take hold/power in iraq or would they leave and quit the insurgent attacks cause they'd be against iraqi's, not us?

    i know those living there would go into a free-for-all for power, but what would the al queda do?
  4. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    Good news. Hopefully troops returning home will be allowed to stay at home as a result.
  5. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament...

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    Agreed... especially reservists on their 3rd, 4th and 5th tours...
  6. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Too bad someone like Petraeus wasn't in charge from the get go.

    I wish he was running for President....
  7. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament...

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    I agree with your first statement...

    and maybe your second... :D

    In all seriousness, this is great news for our soldiers. Let's hope we can stay the course and get some of these guys back home with their families...
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    You know I have to wonder if it was not the Generals before that was the major problem or if it was Rummy or others in the admin.

    I think sooner or later, after going through generals, after the sinking numbers, after poor returns, they finally realized they had to do some things different and I would not be shocked at all if they listened to the Generals and commanders on the ground a little more.

    I know time and time again Bush said he would listen to the commanders on the ground but I honestly think he would just hear what he wanted to hear.

    That is not taking anything away from General Petraius but I think it is a little bit of the admin changing as well.

    Rummy really was terrible at his job IMO. I still can not wrap my mind around why they did not announce his retirement prior to the last elections. I don't know if it would have made a huge difference but I think it could have made enough of a difference.
  9. ologan

    ologan Well-Known Member

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    I believe they (Al Qaeda) have already started shifting some folks to Afghanistan,based on the increase in activity there. I would much rather fight them in Iraq than Afghanistan....Ask the Russians!
  10. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Actually Brain the sad fact is that we have very few generals that are both competent and gutsy enough to tell it like it is. This is a result of the last 15 years of downsizing and politicization of the military. I see the results here every day with the BS so called mandatory training that is useless and worthless and keeps the soldiers from getting training that would keep them alive in combat. BUT this MANDATORY training is political BS crap like sexual harrassment training (which they get anyway), or other poltically correct garbage that wastes time and the soldiers laugh at. Instead of teaching them how to fight and survive in combat, this sort of garbage gets priority. Just yesterday, I saw a infantry company that had to cancel combat training for more of that BS, DESPITE the fact that they are one week from deploying.
  11. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    In my day it was not the political correctness situation. It was just BS that got in the way.

    I know there were times when we spent more time doing inventory, vehicle checkups, cleaning our rooms, mowing, filling sandbags and a host of other things instead of actually training.

    In one unit I had to fight to let us do navigation in our vehicles and we were an ambulance platoon so that should have been in the training already. Should train how to read a map and get to a point in your ambulance. But no I had to fight to get that instead of checking a bundle of camo netting again.

    We had one platoon SGT (same unit) that would not let us take IV needles with us when we went out to duty providing medical coverage for other units. We had the IVs and everything else but the SGT would not let us keep needles in our ambulance. How much sense does that make?!?

    It was a difficult transition going from a forward support battalion when we were always busy. Going to the field, whether with our own company or supporting another, at least one week out of a month. Than going to another unit when we were in a main support battalion and had nothing to do except stupid stuff.

    Either way the point is that stupid stuff happened all the time, some of it was the type of unit you were in and some was because of leadership. It is not just political correctness.

    However you could be right about the other generals. I happen to think I could be right as well about the admin not getting the answers they were wanting. So it could be a combo of them both.
  12. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Are you suggesting that sexual harassment training makes people less honest and forthcoming on subjects not involving big juggs? Interesting.
  13. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Petraeus was not know as a combat general most of his career.

    He is a West Point guy that was never in combat till we went into Iraq ..... but a few people who I have talked to say he is an excellent commander and has really raised the level of accountability since he has taken the reigns in Iraq.

    I would trust what he says before any of Washington's talking heads ..... from what I have heard the guy is very honorable.
  14. iceberg

    iceberg nothing is nothing Zone Supporter

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    most rational people would think that he's saying that when you're about to go into combat, training on how to stay alive, know the terratory, recognize the enemy, survival in rough spots and so forth *should* take priority over being sure that when you're pinned down by enemy fire you don't make blonde jokes to the female soldier across from you who's blonde.
  15. iceberg

    iceberg nothing is nothing Zone Supporter

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    i'd have to agree. in the corporate world we call it "management by checkbox". doesn't matter if the current activity is relevant or helpful, it's a box to check and needs to get done.

    but i would like to think that managers/leaders would rearrange things to make more sense when they need to and i'm sure in many instances, they do.
  16. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    Yes you are right. It happens in the civilian world as well.

    I think it probably just seems more magnified in the military life due to the 24/7 aspect of being on base and around co workers compared to a normal civilian job. Plus the military having it's own set of rules and punishments. If you are on a civilian job and the boss tells you to do this or that and you don't want to or hate the boss you can say you are not going to do it and tell your boss to kiss your butt. Worse that can happen is a physical altercation, you get fired or you quit.

    In the military if it is said to a superior officer they can demote you in rank/pay, they can assign other punishments or you could wind up being put in jail/brigg/prison.
  17. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Rumsfield totally usurped the regular promotional methods for Generals, to control the behavior of the higher military echalons. Brown nosing was more important than comptence, something you find running through the last 6 years. Arrogance and hubris at the top gets paid for in blood.

    Troop training took a terrible hit as the Army had more and more trouble meeting its recruiting goals. You can find countless examples of diligent drill instructors bemoaning the soldiers they are having to graduate out of basic training, and the training they are having to dumb down. It is not merely an issue of PC classes.

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