WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. military leaders reportedly recommend changing the main military mission in Iraq from fighting insurgents to supporting Iraqis and hunting terrorists.
Citing sources familiar with the White House's review of Iraq policy, the Washington Post said Thursday that members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have given President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney a "pragmatic assessment of what can and cannot be done" by the U.S. military.
Bush and Cheney met with the military leaders at the Pentagon Wednesday.
The chiefs are not in favor of adding significant numbers of troops to Iraq, the Post reported, citing sources "familiar with their thinking." Rather, they regard strengthening the Iraqi army as pivotal to gaining stability in Iraq -- and they urge a stronger push for economic reconstruction and political reconciliation.
Sources told the Post that the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., has been looking at a proposal to redefine the U.S. military mission by pulling U.S. troops out of Iraqi cities and consolidating them at some U.S. bases -- while leaving day-to-day combat to the Iraqi army.