Study Finds U.S. Could Lower Its Profile In Iraq

Thursday, September 6th 2007, 9:53 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A panel of retired senior military and police officers recommended Thursday the United States lighten its footprint in Iraq to combat its image of an ``occupying force.''

More specifically, the panel said the mission of U.S. troops could be adjusted as early as next year to allow the Iraqi army to assume more control of daily combat.

``The force footprint should be adjusted in our view to represent an expeditionary capability and to combat a permanent-force image of today's presence,'' said retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, who led the 20-member commission.

``This will make an eventual departure much easier,'' Jones told the Senate Armed Services Committee. But his report, released Thursday, also concluded that Iraqi security forces would be unable to take control of their country in the next 18 months.