Military Preps for Iraq Pullout

Envisions 40K force to stay for years; big withdrawal by early 2009
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2007 12:17 PM CDT
Military Preps for Iraq Pullout
In this handout photo released by the U.S. Army on Tuesday, May 15, 2007, Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., search fields in Rushdi Mullah, Iraq for three missing U.S. soldiers Monday, May...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Top military officials are quietly setting their post-pullout strategy, reports Thomas Ricks in today's Post, and they're readying to keep in place a long-term, mid-size force. The new plan requires upwards of 40,000 American troops to stay in the country, with half dedicated to security, a quarter to training, and another quarter to logistics, in addition to a small special ops counterterrorism force.

The 40K plan is intended to play to a wide audience: from the government, which still seeks protection from foreign invasion, to Shiite radicals like Moqtada al-Sadr, who feel threatened by the continued Sunni insurgency. That reflects the wiser, more tempered military that’s offering up the strategy, say many officials. “There's a greater appreciation for complexity," says one Baghdad-based officer. (Read more Iraq stories.)

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