Iraq Combat Operations to Continue
You remember that pullout of American combat troops from Iraq? Not so fast.
A U.S. military spokesman says American forces will still conduct combat operations even after they pull back to bases outside Baghdad and other cities as part of the U.S.-Iraqi security agreement.
Brig. Gen. Frederick Rudesheim says the redeployment to the periphery will actually help improve security in the capital because U.S. troops can help stop militants from using bases in rural areas to stage urban attacks.
Rudesheim told reporters Sunday that there will be “no cessation of combat operations” after the June 30 deadline to pull back most American forces from cities.
He also says U.S. military transition teams will remain in Baghdad and other cities to help train Iraqi security forces there.
My strong guess is that there will be “no cessation of combat operations” for quite some time. So long as American troops are in harm’s way in Iraq — which we already know will be through 2011 as a minimum — they’re going to be drawn into combat.
YahooNews’ juxtaposition of this story with the above photo struck me as unusual. The original is captioned “A U.S. soldier takes part in a celebration of St. Patrick REUTERS/Saad Shalash (IRAQ CONFLICT POLITICS SOCIETY).”