RealNews

US military lowers profile in Iraq

With its 15-month occupation now history, the 138,000-strong US military force in Iraq is attempting to sharply lower its profile, scaling back offensive operations and narrowing target lists while encouraging Iraq’s fledgling forces to take the lead. Top US commanders have acted immediately to minimize the visibility of their forces. In a very public statement that Iraqis are now in charge, they have ordered US Army convoys as well as low-flying helicopters to move at night whenever possible. And symbolically, in a break with the occupation, the military “coalition” became “multinational forces” upon the June 28 transfer of power. The thrust of US military activity will now be threefold, commanders say: to target terrorist networks, protect and consolidate US forces, and conduct joint operations with Iraqis aimed at weaning them completely from US support. By pulling back, they hope both to diffuse Iraqi insurgents fighting the occupation and force Iraqis to take their destiny into their own hands – a strategy also likely to save American lives.Full Story

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