Broadcast Coverage Of Joint Chiefs Briefing By Pentagon Correspondents

Broadcast Coverage Of Joint Chiefs Briefing By Pentagon Correspondents
March 27th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Broadcast Coverage Of Joint Chiefs Briefing By Pentagon Correspondents

Broadcast Coverage Of Joint Chiefs Briefing By Pentagon Correspondents
March 26, 2008
World News With Charles Gibson (ABC), 6:30 PM
CHARLES GIBSON: President Bush went to the Pentagon today for a briefing from the Joint Chiefs on troop deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ABC”s Jonathan Karl is joining us from the Pentagon. Jon, how concerned is the Pentagon about this fighting that’s underway in Iraq? Are things blowing up?
JONATHAN KARL: Well, nobody here is saying that, Charlie, but the reduction in violence that we’ve seen over the last several months has been attributed to three factors: one, the surge; two, the Mahdi Army ceasefire; and three, the Sunni tribes that have switched sides. Now there are indications on all three fronts that all three of those factors may be in jeopardy.
GIBSON: I just mentioned the fact that President Bush was at the Pentagon getting a briefing on the prospects for troop withdrawals. Could this have any effect on those troop withdrawals, and what does it say generally about the situation that we may have to maintain there?
KARL: Well, it could. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were at the Pentagon, as you said, and they president to President Bush an endorsement of the plan to pause troop reductions this summer. More violence could extend that pause right to the end of the Bush presidency. But the chiefs also warned of significant risk if the withdrawals don’t resume in the fall. They said that the troops need to come out of Iraq, or at least some, because they could well be needed in Afghanistan.
GIBSON: All right. Jonathan Karl at the Pentagon tonight. Thanks.
CBS Evening News, 6:30 PM
HARRY SMITH: President Bush and his top military advisors met today to plan the next stage of the Iraq war. The surge is due to end this summer, but some of the troops now in Iraq may be heading next to Afghanistan, where they are desperately needed. Here’s David Martin.
DAVID MARTIN: Faced with the demands of fighting a two-front war, the Joint Chiefs of Staff warned President Bush today more U.S. troops may soon be needed in Afghanistan, but reinforcements would have come to out of troop levels in Iraq, leaving the president with a stark choice of pulling too many troops out of Iraq or putting too few into Afghanistan.
The Chiefs also told the president the two-front war has created a significant risk of not having enough forces to respond to other crises. The Chiefs endorsed the recommendation of General David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, for a several-week pause in withdrawals when the surge ends this July and American troop levels are down to 140,000. That will allow the Army to end its 15-month combat tours and go back to slightly less punishing 12-month deployments. But neither the Chiefs nor Petraeus are willing to make any commitment to further withdrawals and the president agrees.
PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: We’ve learned through hard experience what happens when we pull our forces back too fast.
MARTIN: But Afghanistan, where there are nearly 60,000 NATO troops, 31,000 of them American, is facing rising levels of violence, and the top commander there has warned the Pentagon he my send out a call for reinforcements.
JAMES DOBBINS [Former Special Envoy to Afghanistan]:We have to assume that – that at least half the reinforcements are going to have to come from the U.S.
MARTIN: With or without more troop withdrawals from Iraq, there will be no letup in the pace of combat operations for the remainder of the Bush presidency. David Martin, CBS News, the Pentagon.

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