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Abizaid plans to leave post in March
LA Times ^ | 20 Dec 06 | By Peter Spiegel, Los Angeles Times

Posted on 12/20/2006 5:11:41 AM PST by dakine

By Peter Spiegel, Los Angeles Times | December 20, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Army General John P. Abizaid, commander of US forces in the Middle East, has submitted plans to retire and will leave his post in March, a step likely to make way for a change in military strategy at a time the Bush administration is seeking a new plan for Iraq.

(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abizaid; iraq
Who will replace?
1 posted on 12/20/2006 5:11:42 AM PST by dakine
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: dakine

My sense is that Abizaid has been told he's on the way out.

At the same time, hasn't he been there about 2 years? That would be what one would expect in terms of duration of command.

I'm betting that Schoomaker will also be shelved. In his defense, Gen Schoomaker took over after Shinseki was shelved, and it appeared no one wanted the role of working for Rumsfeld. Schoomaker's time should be just about up, too; and he came out of retirement to take the job.

Anyone who's seen too closely aligned with Rumsfeld will not get the job. My guess is that the command will go to some newly promoted 4 star who had 2 star time inside Iraq and kept his mouth shut.


3 posted on 12/20/2006 5:17:15 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: dakine

Okay, who took over your screen name?


4 posted on 12/20/2006 5:25:47 AM PST by ShadowDancer (No autopsy, no foul.)
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To: ShadowDancer

Real news....I post about once or twice a year....


5 posted on 12/20/2006 5:28:43 AM PST by dakine
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To: dakine

Well knock it off, it's frightening the children and small woodland creatures.


6 posted on 12/20/2006 5:30:38 AM PST by ShadowDancer (No autopsy, no foul.)
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To: ShadowDancer

This is significant news...but no chick pics on this thread will keep it small...hahaha


7 posted on 12/20/2006 5:34:12 AM PST by dakine
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To: dakine
Here, I'll help:

You're welcome.

8 posted on 12/20/2006 5:35:45 AM PST by ShadowDancer (No autopsy, no foul.)
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To: pinz-n-needlez; onyx; ohioWfan; Texasforever; BigSkyFreeper; Tamzee; mrs tiggywinkle; Dog; ...

FYI Ping


9 posted on 12/20/2006 5:36:14 AM PST by Mo1 (Thank You Mr & Mrs "I'm gonna teach you a lesson" Voter ... you just screwed us on so many levels)
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To: ShadowDancer

hahaha...

Dinner...


10 posted on 12/20/2006 5:40:48 AM PST by dakine
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To: xzins
I think we are reading Way too much into a strategy change.

In my view, the strategy today will be the same tomorrow.

It just needs more time to come to fruition. There really is not a lot of choices available other than stay the course or withdraw.

11 posted on 12/20/2006 7:52:08 AM PST by Cold Heat ("Ward!.........Go easy on the beaver"!)
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To: Cold Heat

I had agreed with that, and then backed off in favor of taking IRan and Syria out of the equation...change the situation plan.

Last week some reported that the Iranians & Syrians were NOT the issue in IRaq, that it was instead the home-grown insurgents who were sustaining the fight.

Given that, the best alternative they suggested was to surge in additional forces and uptempo the cordon, clear, control (3C's)strategy using US forces replaced by Iraqis. (What we have been doing in a piecemeal way up to now given the low number, low training, and corruption of Iraqi forces.)

O'Reilly visited Iraq and returned to say the whole thing actually IS sustained by Iran.

My guess is that we're going to have to do both, 3C + Neutralization of Iran.

That can be implemented quickly and executed if there were the will to do it, but my guess is that it'll get talked into oblivion.


12 posted on 12/20/2006 8:10:36 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: Cold Heat

Victor David Hanson is floating trial balloons for a limited war with Iran, mostly Arabian Gulf. Could be the start of something big.


13 posted on 12/20/2006 8:38:33 AM PST by mission9 (Be a citizen worth living for, in a Nation worth dying for...)
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To: dakine
Who will replace?

Territorial Governor John Bolton. ;)

14 posted on 12/20/2006 8:41:13 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: xzins

I'd say that Abizaid probably is probably just ready to retire after 30 years of doing a good job. I knew him in 1st Ranger Bn back in 1981, and he was already a senior captain fixing to take over his second company command. Without looking up his bio, I'd say he has at least 30 years on active duty, much of it in pretty tough assignments. He's probably ready for a change, especially since he probably isn't under consideration for the Chief of Staff job.


15 posted on 12/20/2006 9:03:16 AM PST by rangerX (Sua Sponte)
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To: rangerX

Does Abizaid speak Arabic?


16 posted on 12/20/2006 9:07:17 AM PST by agincourt1415 (I love the smell of Irans Nuclear Weapons Plants burning in the morning!)
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To: agincourt1415

"Does Abizaid speak Arabic?"

Yes, fluently. His nickname was "the Mad Arab" at West Point.


17 posted on 12/20/2006 9:22:07 AM PST by jamese777
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To: Mo1

Could just be a predictable scheduled retirement/change in command.


18 posted on 12/20/2006 9:34:49 AM PST by prairiebreeze (Unapologetically Celebrating the Birth of Christ!!)
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To: xzins
Last week some reported that the Iranians & Syrians were NOT the issue in IRaq,

Yeah, this is the perspective being pushed along from the antiwar side and the media buys into it.

The facts seem to indicate that it is a "all of the above" multiple choice answer with one item or items taking precedence at one time or another.

On the political side you have the old rivalries between tribes, and the fighting to retain powers they have had on and off for centuries.

IMO, there has been so much integration between Sunni and Shia over the last few decades that a true civil war is not likely and the this perception is only partly right. As is the perception that AQ, Syria, or Iran are the dominant threat. They all are!

I doubt we will ever take on Iran directly, but we will continue to tweak them, as they will continue to tweak us. Neither side wants a military direct confrontation, no matter the rhetorical flourishes.

I think we actually have the upper hand in this. I really do!

The politics are beginning to show the split between the hardliners and the populist movement growing at a slightly faster pace.

This is encouraging, and tells me we are on the right track and have been for some time now.

We cannot expect to make giant steps of progress for all to see. Bush will have to hold firm in the face of all this negative crap, and this is why we designed a Republic, as opposed to a screwball purist Democracy. The liberals belong to the screwball cult and have politicized this foreign policy project to the point of siding with the enemy. Bush will try to make the policy decisions more public and ride out the last two years of his presidency. After that, it's going to be dicey, no matter who is elected to the oval office.

We have two years to show progress, and I think we will, but there is always a chance we may not.

My glass is half full and filling slowly. That is the way I see it. More troops are not the answer. Accelerated training and development of Iraqi forces, more central control over the police, and major efforts to build the economy and it's resulting employment opportunities as security issues begin to fade are the goals. It's going to be slow but it has to show permanency.

Leadership skills and great leaders take a lot of time to emerge. They will, if we can have the Iraqis protect them while they learn to lead. More troops will help only temporarily and will lead to Iraqi's turning more of their guns on us after 6 months or less. I think we can do the Baghdad project with what we have as they are freed up in other provinces. There may be a rise in troop strength, but for no more than 9-12 weeks or so. This is as much time as we can possibly sell politically.

If all this fails and is still a mess in two years, we will still be required to stay in the fight. It will be heartbreaking to watch, but we can't let this country go to hell. We just can't.

If failure occurs, them the gloves may well have to come off, and a full fledged occupation occur. This will likely require a draft to get about 100K extra grunts to deploy on a two year commitment. We may even be required to use the border patrol.

I don't want to think about it right now. But it could happen.

19 posted on 12/20/2006 9:48:11 AM PST by Cold Heat ("Ward!.........Go easy on the beaver"!)
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To: mission9
Victor David Hanson is floating trial balloons for a limited war with Iran,

His one and only real contribution is to represent the "Hawks". He does this well, but he has not made much sense to me since 9/11.

20 posted on 12/20/2006 9:50:43 AM PST by Cold Heat ("Ward!.........Go easy on the beaver"!)
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To: rangerX

"I'd say that Abizaid probably is probably just ready to retire after 30 years of doing a good job."

That's most likely the case. I heard on a news report that he wanted to leave last year but was stopped from doing so by Rumsfeld.


21 posted on 12/20/2006 1:36:44 PM PST by Mila
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