US Strategy In Iraq Shifting

‘Washington – With little fanfare, at least so far, the stage is being set for a post-"surge" Iraq strategy that reduces US ambitions for the Iraq project, even while keeping some US forces there for years to come.

‘No decisions have yet been made, and administration officials insist the current strategy that has pumped an additional 30,000 troops into Iraq still must be given time to work. But the contours of a new approach floating around Washington suggest a drawing down of the 160,000 US forces there beginning as early as the end of this year. The thousands that remain would be refocused on training Iraqi security forces and on a long fight against Al Qaeda.

‘Just how much momentum the new Iraq-strategy snowball has behind it will start to become clearer this week as Congress is to receive an interim report on the performance of the force buildup and as Democrats try to use another funding vote on Iraq to press for faster change.’ (Christian Science Monitor article).