General: Not the Time to Talk Troop Withdrawl

By: Stacy Case, CBS News
By: Stacy Case, CBS News

Washington, DC (CBS) - An update this morning from one of the top commanders in Iraq. He says more time is needed to see if the troop surge is actually working and that now is not the time to back down.

But Stacy Case tells us, sticking with the current US policy is not what lawmakers have in mind.

As the calls for change grow louder on Capitol Hill, military commanders on the ground in Iraq say they're not paying much attention.

“I spend no time thinking about the political clock. I spend my time focused on killing and capturing enemy forces,” says US Army Major General Rick Lynch.

One of the top us commanders on the ground says it's still too early to judge whether or not the troop surge is working. But, he points out premature withdrawal would be catastrophic.

"You'd find the enemy regaining ground reestablishing a sanctuary, building more IED's, carrying those IED's in Baghdad and the violence would escalate. It would be a mess,” says Lynch.

But the current us policy appears to be losing more ground with lawmakers. Another republican senator has broken ranks with the white house, joining the calls for a new direction in Iraq.

"I'm unwilling to continue our current strategy when the Iraqi Government fails to advance the interests of the Iraqi people, or even make modest progress towards self-sufficiency,” says Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM).

The Senate is poised to vote on several anti-war proposals later this month, including one bill that cuts off money for combat operations.

Democrats call the President's troop surge to secure Baghdad and Anbar province a policy of escalation.

Though the extra forces have dampened sectarian violence in recent days, the push has also boosted American casualties. The US has lost 100 or more troops for each of the last three months.


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