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May 19, 2004

Another Soldier to Ignore

Right Mr. Rumsfeld. Right Republicans?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The situation in Iraq could become more violent after the June 30 handover leading up to elections, which could require the deployment of more U.S. forces, the head of U.S. Central Command said on Wednesday.

Gen. John Abizaid was asked at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing whether the roughly 130,000 troops in Iraq would be sufficient after the June 30 handover of sovereignty.

"I would predict, and I think Rick (Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez) will agree with me, that the situation will become more violent even after sovereignty because it will remain unclear what's going to happen between the interim government and elections," said Abizaid, who is responsible for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iraqi elections were expected to take place in December or January, he said.

"So moving through the election period will be violent and it could very well be more violent than we're seeing today. So it's possible that we might need more forces," he said.

But international forces and a higher quality of Iraqi forces would weigh into that equation, Abizaid said.

"I think the number is about where we are now for the foreseeable future unless something changes either international force-wise or in the quality of Iraqi troops, is what we can expect through the elections," Abizaid said.
What exactly, is being handed over? Nothing. Absolutely nothing, despite Bremer's assertion that if the council doesn't want us, we'll go. And if the neighborhood doesn't want us (to pull a metaphor from the post below), well aren't we just an unwarranted, unwanted bully?

We could have done some good there without killing thousands of Iraqis ourselves. Yes, I believe we could have. Call me a radical.