Target Centermass

10/11/2006

Army Plans to Maintain Current Troop Levels in Iraq

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:44 pm

This is a beautiful example of an entirely accurate but extremely misleading headline.

The Army is making plans to keep its current troop levels in Iraq through 2010 if they’re needed, the Army’s chief of staff said Wednesday.

But Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker cautioned against putting too much emphasis on the Army’s plans, saying that conditions in Iraq would dictate force levels. He said it would be easier to pull troops “off the table” or shorten their tours in Iraq rather than to add more forces later on.

“This is the way you’d expect us to operate,” Schoomaker said, speaking to reporters. “This is not a prediction that things are going poorly or better; it’s just that I have to have enough ammo in the magazine (so) that I can continue to shoot as long as they want us to shoot.”

The general’s remarks came as sectarian violence in Iraq between Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias showed no signs of relenting. U.S. casualties have risen sharply while domestic political support for the war continues to slide.

There are currently about 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, with the overwhelming majority from the Army. Schoomaker said Army troop rotation plans for 2008-2010 call for keeping the current level of 15 combat brigades in the country.

But the general said that in order to sustain current levels, the Army would have to continue to rely on the National Guard and the Army Reserve.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld slammed the notion that Schoomaker’s remarks meant U.S. troops would be in Iraq in 2010.

“Schoomaker did not, of course, say anything like that, and it’s unfortunate that stories go out mischaracterizing what people say,” he said at a Pentagon press conference.

Of course we are planning for such a stay at such a level. Actually, I’m quite certain numbers are being crunched for increased and decreased deployments as well.

Unfortunately, not too much can be done about the headline, and that’s just about all that people will see. Luckily, that is one of the better headlines to be found above this story when compared to other versions. Currently, above this version of a similarly-hedged article is the following decisive but completely erroneous heading:

Army: Troops to Stay in Iraq Until 2010

Jeez, that is only close to the content of the story in that the Army and 2010 were involved.

One response to “Army Plans to Maintain Current Troop Levels in Iraq”

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