50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq for 'years to come'

In address to the troops at Osan Air Base in Korea on Nov. 19, 2005, George W. Bush said:

"Our strategy can be summed up this way: As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down, and when our commanders on the ground tell me that Iraqi forces can defend their freedom, our troops will come home with the honor they have earned. (Applause.)"
Except they won't be coming home when, or if, the Iraqis are able to gain stability.

According to the Telegraph, via Juan Cole, "America plans to retain a garrison of 50,000 troops, one tenth of its entire army, in Iraq for years to come."

Not only that, but the Telegraph also speculates: "there were growing signals that Gen George Casey, America's Iraq commander, may raise troop levels in the short-term."

This comes just as the first "permanent post-war" cabinet is completed and just before Bush meets with Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki tomorrow.

Now tell us again how this government is intended to gain legitimacy among Iraqis?

On the other hand there's veteran John Murtha (D-PA) who gave a different spin to the Zarqawi/cabinet news, telling Good Morning America that: "now is 'a perfect time' for a troop withdrawal. 'People want a change in this country ... a change in direction, and I hope the president hears that and I hope the Iraqis ask us to leave.'" (InformedComment)

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