US troops could remain in Iraq for at least 2 more years, despite a raging national debate about continued occupation, the New York Times reports. The top commander and American ambassador have detailed a strategy that envisions "localized security" in Baghdad within a year and a military role in the country until at least 2009.
The classified plan extends a strategy indicated by President Bush in January when he announced the troop surge, reversing an earlier commitment to turn over security to the Iraqis. The approach in the report, which depends on protecting civilians to allow the government to gain traction, does not specifically address troop levels but anticipates a decline over time. (Read more Joint Campaign Plan stories.)