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Senator Lugar: More U.S. Troops May Be Needed in Iraq
(Reuters, April 4, 2004)
The United States may need to bolster its troop presence in Iraq and extend the deadline for transfer to Iraqi rule, amid an insurgency that could lead to civil war, a leading Republican lawmaker said on Sunday. . . . Last week, four U.S. contractors were murdered and mutilated in Falluja, with cheering Iraqis parading the charred bodies through the streets and stringing up two of them for public view. . . . On Sunday, Spanish-led troops and Iraqi police fought a 3-hour gun battle with Shi'ite militiamen near Najaf that left almost two dozen Iraqis and four Salvadoran soldiers dead. . . . Lugar said he is worried that when the U.S.-led coalition turns over sovereignty to Iraqis on June 30, the new government will be unable to deal with the violence. . . . "They're at a point in which clearly they can't control the situation," he said. "You have the militia that has not been disarmed, and if in fact the worst situation comes, the militia begin to fight each other, that is, civil war." . . . "There has been, from the very beginning, a mistake in military planning, where the original forces that went in were potentially not sufficient," said Albright, appearing on the same program. . . . "So there has been a complete mismatch between the military and the political planning in Iraq," she said. . . . Lugar said he supported a proposal from Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the top Democrat on the foreign relations panel, that calls for President Bush to convene a summit with European leaders -- including those who opposed the war -- and repair the U.S.-European alliance. . . . Biden's plan would also have the president seek a U.N. Security Council resolution to create a high commissioner who would be in charge of handling Iraq's political transition, similar to U.N. arrangements in the Balkans and Afghanistan.
posted by Lorenzo 11:45 AM