From FOX News: Crocker: Withdrawal Plan Could Spark Iraqi 'Street Fight'.
Announcing a plan for rapid troop withdrawals in Iraq would signal Iraqis to start "building the walls, stocking ammunition and getting ready for a big nasty street fight" rather than working toward reconciliation, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq said Tuesday.
Amb. Ryan Crocker told senators that he recognizes times are tough in Iraq, and lawmakers want to draw down the number of U.S. forces in Iraq from its current peak of 168,000, but any rapid redeployment could topple the shaky progress that has been made as a result of the recent surge.
"An Iraq that falls into chaos or civil war will mean massive human suffering — well beyond what has already occurred within Iraq's borders," Crocker said
Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus, the head of Multinational Forces In Iraq, were testifying for a second day on Capitol Hill on military and political progress in Iraq. They faced lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who are under pressure to bring troops home.
Petraeus said the total number of troops to be withdrawn by next summer will return troop levels to its pre-surge numbers of 130,000. Sending home one Marine expeditionary unit, two Marine battalions and five Army brigades would allow the remaining forces to continue operational and strategic considerations, including fighting off Al Qaeda in Iraq and Iranian "militia extremists."
Posted by Forkum at September 11, 2007 04:24 PM