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Study: U.S. should cut Iraq profile

POSTED: September 22, 2007 5:04 a.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. forces in Iraq should be reduced significantly, according to a new study on Iraq’s security forces that inflamed debate in Congress on how quickly that can happen without hurling the country into chaos.
The report, authored by a 20-member panel comprised mostly of retired senior military and police officers, said the massive deployment of U.S. forces and sprawl of U.S.-run facilities in and around Baghdad has given Iraqis the impression that Americans are an occupying, permanent force.
Accordingly, the panel said the Iraqis should assume more control of its security and U.S. forces should step back.
“Significant reductions, consolidations and realignments would appear to be possible and prudent,” wrote the group, led by retired Gen. James Jones, a former Marine Corps commandant.
Democrats want a firm deadline to pressure Iraqi leaders into taking more control. Most Republicans have so far balked at the suggestion, saying military commanders should make the decision.
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