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Ex-US general says Iraq attacks to peak in 6 months; US troops out in a year

07.19.2005, 04:55 AM

WASHINGTON (AFX) - Iraq rebel attacks will peak in six months and US troops can begin withdrawing in a year, retired US general Barry McCaffrey predicted to Congress.

'January through September 2006 will be the peak period of the insurgency and the bottom rung of the new Iraq,' McCaffrey told the Senate foreign relations committee.

'The positive trend lines following the January 2006 elections -- if they continue -- will likely permit the withdrawal of US combat forces by late summer of 2006,' said McCaffrey, who formerly taught at the West Point military academy, after a week-long fact-finding tour of Iraq one month ago.

'With 250,000 Iraqi security forces successfully operating in support of a government which includes substantial Sunni participation the energy will start rapidly draining out of the insurgency by next summer, in my judgment,' said McCaffrey, who participated in the 1991 Gulf War.

McCaffrey also commended the 'decent strategy' built by former US ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte and the leader of the US Central Command, General John Abizaid.

However, he said that the anti-insurgency battles have taken their toll on US troops: 'We've got 17 combat brigades there right now, we will be forced into a drawdown and have 10 brigades or less on the ground by next summer.

'The Army and Marines are starting to come apart under this overly aggressive foreign policy,' McCaffrey said.

FROM TV POOL (This “trunk fed” story ran on stations across the country—here from WISH TV 8 Indianapolis):
July 18, 2005

Indiana Senator Richard Lugar and his Senate Foreign Relations Committee continue hearings Tuesday on political progress in Iraq.

Suicide bombers have killed some 170 people in just the last week alone. In the last two days, gunmen have targeted Iraqi police, killing 30. Since May, there have been 182 coalition troop deaths.

Military leaders and observers caution the violence could still get worse, but insist Iraqis can still succeed.

“The foreign jihadist, the suicide bombers, the slaughter of the innocents, the nailing of the Iraqi police forces as they are lined up to take roll call will not effect the material outcome of the conflict,” said retired General Barry McCaffrey.

McCaffrey told Lugar and the committee that success in Iraq hinges on whether Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds can hold together a government. The leaders of that government must finish a draft of the constitution by August 15.

July 19, 2005
Columbia SC

Ex-general says Iraq putting strain on forces

WASHINGTON — The war in Iraq is stretching U.S. military forces and equipment toward a “meltdown” that could require force reductions in Iraq by next summer, retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday.

“The United States Army and Marine Corps are incapable of sustaining this campaign,” McCaffrey said, adding that similar stresses are being imposed upon equipment. “We are running our capital fleet into the ground.”

McCaffrey, a retired four-star general who commanded a massive tank unit in the 1991 Gulf War, visited Iraq in June to assess the U.S. mission there.


from story, “New Scenarios on Iraq Troop Levels”
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
By Eric Schmitt and David S. Cloud

"By next fall, we'll have expended our ability to use National Guard brigades as one of the principal forces," said General Barry McCaffrey, a retired army commander who was dispatched to Iraq last month to assess the operation. "We're reaching the bottom of the barrel."