Obama strategy a 'reasonable compromise'

March 3, 2009 at 3:01 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) -- The strategy to draw down U.S. military forces in Iraq while building troop strength in Afghanistan is a "reasonable compromise," an analyst said.

Stephen Biddle with the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations said the strategy unveiled by President Barack Obama for a major U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq while simultaneously deploying thousands more to Afghanistan represents "a reasonable compromise between several conflicting demands."

"The president is trying to draw a balance in which you accept some reduction of the probability of success in the peacekeeping effort in Iraq in exchange for increasing the probability of success in Afghanistan if there were no additional troops there," he said.

Biddle noted the strategy for Afghanistan may still be in the preliminary stages, however, adding that the initial influx of American forces is an effort to "staunch the bleeding" in Afghanistan while a solid framework for success is developed.

The current Iraq strategy calls for the majority of the current American troops to stay in Iraq until national elections later in the year, with major drawdowns expected by August 2010.

Meanwhile, several thousand U.S. troops are expected to deploy to Afghanistan in an effort to prop up the international effort there.

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