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U.S. military plans Iraq fallback strategy: report

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070312/ts_nm/iraq_usa_strategy_dc U.S. military plans Iraq fallback strategy: report Mon Mar 12, 4:28 AM ET WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 12 8:56 AM
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070312/ts_nm/iraq_usa_strategy_dc

      U.S. military plans Iraq fallback strategy: report

      Mon Mar 12, 4:28 AM ET

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. military planners have
      begun work on a fallback strategy in case the U.S.
      troop buildup in Iraq fails, including a gradual
      pullout of U.S. forces and more emphasis on training
      and advising Iraqi forces, the Los Angeles Times
      reported in Monday's editions.

      The strategy, based partly on the U.S. experience in
      El Salvador in the 1980s, is in the early planning
      stages, the newspaper said, citing U.S. military
      officials and Pentagon consultants who spoke on
      condition of anonymity.

      It is a fallback if the Bush administration's plan to
      send about 26,000 more U.S. troops fails to stabilize
      Iraq, or if the Democratic-led Congress limits that
      move, it said.

      The newspaper quoted a Pentagon official as saying
      "This part of the world has an allergy against foreign
      presence. You have a window of opportunity that is
      relatively short. Your ability to influence this with
      a large U.S. force eventually gets to a point that is
      self-defeating."

      The United States sent 55 Green Berets to El Salvador
      to help its military fight rebels from 1981 to 1992,
      in a drive to make the U.S. military presence less
      visible, the newspaper said.

      It said Pentagon officials said the Iraq plan would
      have to entail many more advisors, but that the El
      Salvador model had influenced planning.

      There are currently about 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

      Shifting from a troop increase to more reliance on an
      advisory role would bring the administration more in
      line with the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan panel
      that recommended a gradual reduction in U.S. combat
      forces in Iraq.
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