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Iraq Attacks To Peak In Six Months; US Out In A Year: Mccaffrey

A picture released by the US army 18 July 2005 shows Blind folded suspects waiting to transferred after being detained in the Iraqi city of Baquba during a US and Iraqi military al-Shrouq Operation (Sunrise) in Dyala province, northeast of Baghdad. More than 150 suspects were detained in the operation. More than 110 Iraqis were killed and 300 wounded in a three-day suicide bombing blitz as justice officials lifted the curtain on the trial of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein. AFP photo/Ho/US Army.

Washington (AFP) Jul 19, 2005
Iraq rebel attacks will peak in six months and US troops can begin withdrawing in a year, retired US general Barry McCaffrey told Congress Monday.

"January through September 2006 will be the peak period of the insurgency and the bottom rung of the new Iraq," McCaffrey told the Senate foreign relations committee.

"The positive trend lines following the January 2006 elections -- if they continue -- will likely permit the withdrawal of US combat forces by late summer of 2006," said McCaffrey, who formerly taught at the West Point military academy, after a week-long fact-finding tour of Iraq one month ago.

"With 250,000 Iraqi security forces successfully operating in support of a government which includes substantial Sunni participation the energy will start rapidly draining out of the insurgency by next summer, in my judgment," said McCaffrey, who participated in the 1991 Gulf War.

McCaffrey commended the "decent strategy" built by former US ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte and the leader of the US Central Command, General John Abizaid.

McCaffrey said that the anti-insurgency battles had taken their toll on US troops.

"We've got 17 combat brigades there right now, we will be forced into a drawdown and have 10 brigades or less on the ground by next summer.

"The Army and Marines are starting to come apart under this overly aggressive foreign policy," he said.

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London Blocks Inside Account Of Iraq Envoy
London (UPI) July 18, 2005
Frequented by heads of state, ministers and military leaders, the Ditchley Foundation has long been the pulsing heart through which the Anglo-American alliance flows.

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