RealNews

Rumsfeld: Insurgency May Alter Troop Shift

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld cautioned Sunday that plans to shift the U.S. military presence in Iraqi cities to outlying areas could be disrupted by the continuing insurgency, which he blamed on “terrorist networks” and al Qaeda guerrillas that he said were trying to fracture Iraqi society. American ground commanders in Iraq have announced plans to move troops away from major cities, where they are conspicuous and potential targets, to surrounding areas from which they could rapidly respond to emergencies in urban areas. The new Iraqi security forces are to be given greater responsibility for maintaining order in the cities. But Rumsfeld, during a refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland, on his way to Kuwait, said the process of redeploying troops would be marked by “ebb and flow.” “It may very well be in one section of the country, the military commanders will make a judgment that they can move back and put the Iraqi forces out front, and that that will stick, permanently,” Rumsfeld said. “It may also be that in certain parts of the country that will happen and they will make a judgment a month or two, or three or four, later that they need to press back in and support the Iraqi security forces.” Full Story

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