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US Military Plan Envisions American Troops in Iraq Until At Least 2009


A revised U.S. military plan for Iraq envisions American troops being in that country for at least another two years.

The plan, known as the Joint Campaign Plan, was developed by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and the U.S. ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker.

The New York Times newspaper first reported on the plan in Tuesday's editions. It calls for restoring security in local areas of Iraq, including Baghdad, by around this time next year, and nationwide security by mid-2009.

News of the strategy comes the same day President Bush is speaking in Charleston, South Carolina, about the global war against terrorism. His spokesman says the speech will contain newly declassified material and will talk about al-Qaida in Iraq and its threat to the region.

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker are to brief Congress in September with an assessment of the war. President Bush has called on U.S. lawmakers to wait until September before making any decisions about Iraq.

Republicans in the Democratic-led Congress last week blocked legislation calling for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by April 2008.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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