Top US military commander in Iraq wants Muslim peacekeepers
The top US military commander in Iraq was quoted Friday as saying by The New York Times he wants peacekeepers from Muslim states, and a functioning Iraqi army, rather than additional American forces in Iraq.
"We've got to get more of an Iraqi face on the security establishment," Central Command chief John Abizaid said, "and we need to have more international participation in the international coalition force."
Abizaid noted he favors seeing more peacekeepers from nations like Turkey and Pakistan and accelerating the training of a new Iraqi army to counter the image of a US-dominated occupation.
"You can't underestimate the public perception both within Iraq and within the Arab world about the percentage of the force being so heavily American," he told the newspaper .
The US general said he would like to get a 40,000-soldier Iraqi army trained more rapidly than the planned two to three years. "Somewhere between the perfect army and the just-good-enough army is the right answer," he conveyed. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)