New Role for US Troops in Iraq
Plan would boost soldiers' role training Iraqis as some troops withdraw
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2007 3:55 AM CST
A U.S. soldier of the 3rd Brigade combat team, 101st Airborne Division, left, looks on as an Iraqi soldier, right, searches the front yard of a house Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007. US combat brigades are to...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – US combat brigades in Iraq may soon be given an expanded role in training and supporting Iraqis, reports the New York Times. Under the plan, not yet finalized, a quarter of US troops would be withdrawn next July but others would stay behind to help transfer more of the security role to Iraqis—while safeguarding gains made during the surge.

Soldiers in hot spots would continue their combat role. The plan is likely to be sharply opposed by war critics, who have demanded a far more rapid withdrawal of troops. The plan could also be undermined by the fact that Iraqis don't yet have enough officers and are still too weak in unit training to take on a critical security role.