General says a bigger U.S. force could stabilize Iraqi faster

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Media: The Associated Press
Date: 14 August 2006

MOSUL, Iraq_Iraq could be stabilized faster if the United States increased
the size of its force, but the costs would outweigh the benefits, the
chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Gen. Peter Pace said in an interview Sunday at the conclusion of a two-day
visit _ his first since surging sectarian violence triggered talk of all-out
civil war _ that his meetings with U.S. commanders and their troops left him
convinced that the Pentagon is correct to focus its effort mainly on
training Iraqi security forces.

He said the current American force of about 133,000 troops is the right size
for that training mission and for the more deadly work of containing the
insurgency and helping reduce sect-on-sect killings.

"More U.S. and coalition forces could get the job done quicker, but that
would mean dependency much longer for the Iraqi armed forces and the Iraqi
government," he said, speaking in a recreation room for U.S. troops as a
searing summer sun set on a day that took him from Baghdad to Fallujah to

During a question-and-answer session with troops in Baghdad on Saturday,
Pace said U.S. officials had hoped as recently as July that they could
reduce the U.S. force by two brigades, or about 7,000 troops, this fall. But
with the surge in sectarian killings, the force was instead increased by two

Pace returned to Washington early Monday.

Pace said his encounters with U.S. troops at each stop in Iraq reinforced
his belief that they are proud of what they are doing and satisfied with
what they have accomplished. But he also said he had detected among them
"some frustration at the Iraqis for not yet grasping the opportunity that's
in front of them."

He was alluding to the failure of rival Shiite and Sunni sects to reconcile
their differences, stop the sectarian violence that has gripped Baghdad in
recent months and establish an effective government.

The troops feel, "We're doing our part. When is the (Iraqi) governance part
going to kick in? And that's a fair question."

Pace preached patience.

"It's too early to pass judgment on a brand new government," he said,
referring to Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki.

In Fallujah, once a key stronghold of the insurgency and still troubled by
almost daily murders of policemen, a few Marines posed questions to Pace
that suggested a creeping doubt about what their sacrifices have gained.

How much more time, one Marine asked, should the Iraqi government be given
to achieve the political unity necessary to stabilize the country?

"I guess they have as long as it takes _ which is not forever," Pace

Pace argued that setting a deadline for the United States to withdraw its
support would risk pushing the Iraqis into political decisions that are
unviable. On the other hand, he said, "You do not want to leave it open

Another Marine wanted to know if U.S. troops would stay in Iraq in the event
of an all-out civil war. Pace repeated what he told a Senate committee last
week: a civil war is possible, but not expected. He did not say what the
United States would do if it actually happened.

Another asked what the United States would do if the Iraqi government did
not support extending the U.N. resolution that authorizes the presence of
American and other foreign troops in Iraq. Pace said the Iraqis already have
said they favor extending the U.S. mandate, which expires in December.

One Marine wound up his question about the pace of U.S. troop deployments to
Iraq by asking, "Is the war coming to an end?"

Pace didn't answer directly. He said Pentagon officials and military leaders
are trying to keep enough troops in Iraq to achieve the mission of training
Iraqi troops to take over the security mission, while avoiding having so
many that it creates an Iraqi dependency.
America should had send much more troops to iraq in the begining.
But,now It is impossible to recover time.
It's not the initial invasion strength that mattered, we already controlled iraq's airspace and all that was needed was a ground invasion to defeat their army again. The problem was that the troop deployment was lowered to over 100,000 men because there wasn't an insurgency at the early stages of occupation. Now we need more troops because there is a big problem with insurgency, i think using more american troops at this point would only fan the flames of the iraqis who dislike the american presence. The best thing that can be done for the long run is to keep training iraqi troops so that they can control the country and become a substantial force that can assist the americans instead of the other way around.