Friday, January 11, 2008

Another Empty Ceremony:

U.S. general: Anbar ready for Iraqi control

Commander of forces in once-violent province says handover set for March

Under a plan accepted by the Iraqi government as well as the top two American authorities in Iraq — Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus — the U.S. military will transfer control of Anbar to provincial authorities in March, followed by a ceremony in April, Gaskin said.

"We all agree that, based on the requirements, Anbar will be ready by that time," Gaskin said, speaking from his Multi-National Force West headquarters in Fallujah, about 25 miles west of Baghdad.

The return of security control to Iraqi authorities in March does not mean U.S. troops will leave Anbar. Two Marine battalions, numbering roughly 1,500 troops, that were sent as part of the 2007 buildup are due to leave Anbar in about May, Gaskin said. But he would not forecast any additional cutbacks.

U.S. forces will remain in Anbar, for the time being, as partners with Iraq's army and police.

So, We're handing over authority, but just not moving out. We'll be helping them to maintain the peace... such as it is.

I think it's just another empty ritual of promise without any follow through. Another stall designed to keep the troops there, and the enduring bases open.

For the whole article click here


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