Thursday, November 30, 2006

Meanwhile in Iraq

Iraq Panel to Recommend Pullback of Combat Troops: The bipartisan Iraq Study Group reached a consensus on Wednesday on a final report that will call for a gradual pullback of the 15 American combat brigades now in Iraq but stop short of setting a firm timetable for their withdrawal, according to people familiar with the panel’s deliberations.

Text of U.S. Security Adviser’s Iraq Memo:
Following is the text of a Nov. 8 memorandum prepared for cabinet-level officials by Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, and his aides on the National Security Council. The five-page document, classified secret, was read and transcribed by The New York Times.

Iraq: At least 99 killed in another day of horror and bloodshed in Iraq: A total of 52 bodies, with gunshot wounds and bearing signs of torture, were found in different districts of Baghdad on Wednesday, an Interior Ministry source said.

Five young girls killed in US attack on Iraqi insurgents: Five young girls were among six Iraqis killed by US forces yesterday after troops used tanks and machine guns to attack what they said was a house occupied by insurgents

Iraqis could assume security by June 2007:
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Thursday that his country's forces would be able to assume security command by June 2007 -- which could allow the United States to start withdrawing its troops.

Sadr seeks anti-USoccupation bloc in Iraqi parliament:
Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is building an anti-US occupation parliamentary alliance to demand the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, some of his party's lawmakers have told AFP.

Bush vows to keep troops in Iraq until asked to leave:
"We're going to stay in Iraq to get the job done so long as the government wants us there."

Defense Eyeing More Deployments to Iraq: The Pentagon is developing plans to send four more battalions to Iraq early next year, partly to boost security in Baghdad, defense officials said Wednesday.

Why the U.S. study group won't solve anything: The forthcoming report by James Baker's Iraq Study Group has enjoyed the biggest public buildup since the Segway. And it is likely to be just as big of a bust.

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