Study: US should lower profile in Iraq; let Iraqis assume more control

September 7, 2007 07:25

US forces in Iraq should be reduced significantly, according to a new study on Iraq's security forces that inflamed debate in Congress on how quickly that can happen without hurling the country into chaos. The report, authored by a 20-member panel comprised mostly of retired senior military and police officers and led by retired Gen. James Jones, said the massive deployment of US forces and sprawl of US-run facilities in and around Baghdad has given Iraqis the impression that Americans are an occupying, permanent force. Accordingly, the panel said the Iraqis should assume more control of its security and US forces should step back, emboldening Democrats who want troop withdrawals to start this fall. Gen. David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, said he will recommend to Congress on Monday a gradual reduction of forces beginning in the spring and acknowledged that the slow pace of political solutions in Baghdad had frustrated him, The Boston Globe reported.

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