U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates,
seen here in August 2007, says Sunday U.S. troops would probably stay in
Iraq for a "protracted period" despite gradual withdrawal.(Xinhua
Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. troops would probably stay in Iraq for a "protracted
period" despite gradual withdrawal, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on
"Assuming the conditions prevail in Iraq that allow
us to continue the draw down that the president has talked about, the idea is
that we would have a much more limited role in Iraq for some protracted period
of time, a stabilizing force," he told ABC News, "a force that would be a
fraction of the size of what we have there now."
However, he did not elaborate on the number of the
"fraction," only saying it has to be decided on after consultation with Iraqis
to "see what they're prepared to accept."
Gates said, as recommended by Gen. David Petraeus,
U.S. troops in Iraq would take a transition in their role from combating to
enhancing border security, fighting terrorists and training Iraqi forces.
When asked by the TV host if U.S. presence in Iraq will
last 50 years like in South Korea, Gates said "history remains to be
"If we leave Iraq in a situation where it's stable
and where they are making good progress, then probably not," he said, "But if we
leave an Iraq where there is chaos or instability, where al-Qaida has the chance
to come back, then you could have substantial forces for some protracted period
Tens of thousands of protesters stage
the first anti-war protest in the U.S. capital of Washington since
January on Saturday, demanding an end to the Iraq war.(Xinhua
Bush announced a gradual reduction of about 30,000 troops from Iraq by next
July, Gates said on a Friday's news conference that it would possible to further
cut troop levels from about 130,000 to 100,000 by the end of next year if Iraq
situation continues to improve.
However, the Bush administration's withdrawal plan is
still short of satisfying Democrats and most public. Demanding much larger size
of reduction, Democratic lawmakers are preparing to submit another defense bill
next week to push in Congress for a more significant withdrawal of troops from
Thousands of people rallied near the White House on
Saturday and lashed out Bush's latest speech and the government assessment
report on Iraqi situation that both praised "progress" in Iraq brought by U.S.
troop surge and defended the current Iraq policy. They marched to the Capitol
Hill later in the day as a move to call for more lawmakers to support the bill
Protesters stage the first anti-war
protest in the U.S. capital of Washington since January on Saturday,
demanding an end to the Iraq war. (Xinhua Photo) Photo
OTTAWA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The West is losing the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because it does not understand the true motives of
terrorists and is thus taking wrong strategies against them, a former analyst of
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said Sunday.
The reason for Osama bin Laden and his followers to
fight the West is not because of their different values, or because they hate
freedom, democracy or gender equality, but rather lies in Western countries'
policies in the Middle East, Michael Scheuer, a retired 22-year CIA veteran told
Canadian Television during an interview. Full story
LONDON, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. Federal Reserve
Chairman Alan Greenspan, in a memoir to be released Monday, says the prime
motive for the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was oil, The Sunday Times
In his long-awaited memoir, Greenspan will also
deliver a stinging critique of U.S. President George W. Bush's economic
policies, according to the paper. Full story