No victory in Iraq, says Petraeus

The outgoing commander of US troops in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, has said that he will never declare victory there.

In a BBC interview, Gen Petraeus said that recent security gains were "not irreversible" and that the US still faced a "long struggle".

When asked if US troops could withdraw from Iraqi cities by the middle of next year, he said that would be "doable".

In his next job leading the US Central Command, Gen Petraeus will also oversee operations in Afghanistan.

This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade... it's not war with a simple slogan

He said "the trends in Afghanistan have not gone in the right direction... and that has to be addressed".

Afghanistan remained a "hugely important endeavour", he said.

Earlier this week, President George W Bush announced a cut of 8,000 US troops in Iraq by February - with some 4,500 being sent to Afghanistan.

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We still have armed forces in Germany, Japan, and Korea. The troops have access to female (or male) companionship. It's been that way for 50 (or 60) years. I can't imagine being a young "stud" spending year-after-year in Iraq with no benefit of female companionship. Makes you want to shoot (or nuke) first, and ask questions later. I wonder how the British dealt with that?

Old South End Broadway

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