Circling the Wagons in Baghdad
Despite touting increased stability in the outer provinces as proof of the success of the “surge,” the U.S. military is about to abandon those regions altogether. The Pentagon’s new strategy for dealing with a reduction of forces in Iraq is essentially to pull back to Baghdad and hope for the best.
Los Angeles Times:
CAMP VICTORY, IRAQ — In a change of plans, American commanders in Iraq have decided to keep their forces concentrated in Baghdad when the buildup strategy ends next year, removing troops instead from outlying areas of the country.
The change represents the military’s first attempt to confront its big challenge in 2008: how to cut the number of troops without sacrificing security.
The shift in deployment strategy, described by senior U.S. military officials in Iraq and Washington, is based on concerns that despite recent improvements, the capital could again erupt into widespread violence without an imposing American military presence.