Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Expert: Phased withdrawal could be accomplished in a year, but 'U.S. could rush out in as little as a few weeks and no more than a few months'

Above: A Humvee takes its turn as a convoy departing from Taji in July crosses a replacement bridge erected after the original was blown up by insurgents.

It would take nine to 12 months or longer to withdraw all troops, contractors and equipment safely from Iraq and phase out U.S. bases there, an analyst said after extensive talks with U.S. commanders and diplomats and Iraqi leaders in Baghdad.

The U.S. military in Iraq would prefer a somewhat slower-paced scenario to complete a full pullout over two years, while other experts “indicate it would be feasible” to pull out 10,000 troops and 10,000 contractors a month through Kuwait, said Anthony H. Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

These estimates do not mean the U.S. could not leave Iraq quickly, Cordesman said in a weighty report that is certain to get serious congressional consideration.

The more equipment and facilities the U.S. and Iraqi forces abandon and destroy, the swifter the exodus, Cordesman said.

“Under these conditions, the U.S. could rush out in as little as a few weeks and no more than a few months,” he said.

Read the rest at Army Times

Related Link:
Perspective: The logistics of leaving

Related Link:
Odierno: Any quick change risks troop lives; says September report only preliminary; 'In order to do a good assessment I need at least until November'

Related Link:
Gates, Mixon: Withdrawal logistics could take years