- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Top general anticipates cut in troops
Question of the Day
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday said the Bush administration predicts positive developments in Iraq in 2006 that will allow U.S. troops to vacate territory and turn counterinsurgency missions over to local forces.
The remarks by Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace suggested there will be more announced troop reductions in the new year as a follow-up to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s announcement Friday that Army brigades in Iraq will dip from 17 to 15, or by about 7,000 soldiers.
“So if things go the way we expect them to, as more Iraqi units stand up, we’ll be able to bring our troops down and turn over that territory to the Iraqis,” Gen. Pace said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Also yesterday, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell gave full backing to President Bush’s recently disclosed policy of having the National Security Agency, without a court order, intercept communications between terror suspects overseas and persons living in America.
Saying he was not personally aware of the warrantless eavesdropping while secretary of state, Mr. Powell told ABC’s “This Week” that “in the aftermath of 9/11, the American people had one concern and that was to protect us. And so I see absolutely nothing wrong with the president authorizing these kinds of actions.”
He said his “own judgment” is that it would not have been difficult to obtain emergency warrants from a special court under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
But Mr. Powell added: “I don’t think anybody objects to the president doing this. He was trying to protect the nation. And we have done things like this in the past.”
Christmas Day in Iraq saw sporadic violence, with one U.S. soldier killed by a roadside bomb.
The American death toll has exceeded 2,100, but commanders hope the Iraq parliamentary elections Dec. 15, in which Sunnis participated more than expected, will mean fewer attacks next year.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who controls the largest bloc of Kurdish members of the transition government, met yesterday with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. Mr. Khalilzad is trying to convince the three major ethnic factions to form a unity government.
Mr. Rumsfeld said Friday that troop reductions will bring the deployed number below a base force of 138,000.
Army Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, later said the force level should shrink to 130,000 by March, once a rotation of Marine and Army troops is completed. He said suicide bombings, the most lethal attacks, stood at 16 this month, down substantially from 60 in June.
Gen. Pace warned yesterday that after a reduction personnel levels could spike again, as they did for the Iraqi elections, if the security situations worsens.
“What we have is a plan that allows us to keep what we have today out for the foreseeable future and then off-ramps and on-ramps based on the conditions on the ground,” he said on Fox.
Gen. Pace said Gen. Casey and his commanders do a monthly analysis of security and political developments, and “they then determine how many troops they need to get the job done.”
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
- Afghan who killed three U.S. Marines in 2012 to serve over 7-year prison sentence
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq