Iraqi forces have taken over security responsibilities in several Baghdad neighborhoods in recent months.
Asked whether the shift in strategy could lead U.S. forces to reassume control of those areas, the (senior administration) official said, "That certainly would be an appropriate thing … to discuss."
So, the US plan is to bring more US troops into Baghdad and sideline the Iraqi security forces? That has big implications for the overall "stand up/stand down" strategy.
Also, it appears the Bush administration is going to frame this as a "hard work" visit rather than the "triumphal establishment of an Iraqi government" visit they had initially envisioned when they scheduled the thing five weeks ago after the new Defense and Interior Ministers were named.
It's such a shame when reality interferes with your photo ops.
(AP - "WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is moving ahead with scheduled troop deployments to Iraq next month as the U.S. military struggles to gain control of the escalating violence in Baghdad, according to a senior defense official.....
But in a reflection of the increasing violence, one brigade that had been stationed in Kuwait as a reserve force earlier this year is now almost entirely in Iraq, and at least one of its battalions was sent to Baghdad to bolster security.")