By Martha Raddatz
July 2, 2003
A Call for Help
American in Charge of Iraq Seeks Backup for Stretched U.S Troops
By Martha Raddatz
July 2— Paul Bremer, the American administrator in charge
of Iraq's reconstruction, has asked the Defense Department to send a counter-intelligence
unit to Iraq, a senior military official told ABCNEWS. The unit would be
made up of dozens of troops and civilians from all branches of the military's
criminal investigative divisions. Its mission would be to track down those
Iraqis who continue to launch attacks on U.S. and other coalition troops.
"There are probably specific missions that need to be
done more effectively," said Michael O'Hanlon, senior fellow in foreign
policy studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
The military official said Bremer also has requested more
security for his own team in Baghdad, and a senior official told ABCNEWS
that the approximately 150,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq will likely remain
there "until the security situation is fully stabilized." Prewar
planning had anticipated a decrease in troops by this time.
‘We’ve Got the Force’
President Bush expressed confidence that no additional combat
forces were needed, despite the growing number of attacks on U.S. soldiers.
"There are some who feel like — that conditions
are such that they can attack us there," the president said today in
the East Room of the White House on the 30th anniversary of the all-volunteer
U.S. military. "My answer is, 'Bring them on.' We've got the force
necessary to deal with the security situation."
But this is certain to put a tremendous strain on the troops
already in Iraq. The 3rd Infantry Division has been in the region for six
months. Even before its deployment to Iraq, the 3rd Infantry spent the better
part of the past three years away from its home base — with some brigades
pulling peacekeeping duty in Bosnia and Kosovo just before heading to Baghdad.
Officials say that about 8,000 British and Polish troops may
soon be called to augment the U.S. forces — but the overwhelming bulk
of the work will remain with the Americans.
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