Well, someone has finally said it, at least sort of...
Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of plans and strategy for US Central Command, told reporters it 'would be a fundamental error' to keep a large number of ground troops 'garrisoned' in the region.So what is a "fraction"? Kimmitt is not saying:
'After Iraq and Afghanistan are stabilized, we need ... a fraction' of the 200,000 US troops now stationed in the region, Kimmitt said in Washington.
A continuing US military presence in the region would only continue to serve as a provocation for al-Qaeda terrorist propaganda, he said.
He said the US would only consider keeping a permanent base in Iraq if asked to do so by the government.And remember, he is only talking about "after Iraq and Afghanistan are stabilized". That could be about a thousand years, at this rate. No wonder Kimmitt is calling it "the long war".
'Iraq has not approached us about keeping permanent bases,' Kimmitt said.
The article is worth a read for its description of changing US attitudes on how to fight terror. There seems to be a realisation - at last - that sheer military brutality alone will not do the job. Gee, who woulda guessed, eh?