"Reposicionamento", a nova fase da estratégia americana

Reposicionamento . N0 IISS, em conferência de 7 de fevereiro de 2006, hoje, o general Kimmit revela como os EUA vão sair do Iraque, deixando um mínio de forças para contenção futura do Irão. (The Guardian)

In a major speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt - a key strategist in the US central command covering the Middle East - spelled out the American plan to "reposture" its forces over an area stretching from Egypt in the west to Pakistan in the east, and from Kazakhstan in the north to Uganda in the south. The US would "not maintain any long-term bases in Iraq" he said. the US will keep its Bagram base in Afghanistan under a new "strategic agreement" signed by the two countries.

The implication behind his remarks is that the four large air bases that the US is building around Baghdad would be handed over to the Iraqis. US would retain assets and enough forces nearby to protect its interests there. The US army was setting up a corps of officers, he added, which would "understand the Middle East" to attract "hearts and minds".

"Reposture" was one of a number of crucial principles that Brig Gen Kimmitt said underlined America's new approach. The other was "helping others help themselves".The US would "retain sufficient military capability" to strike Iran, he said. Those who believed otherwise were making a "very serious mistake", he added.

US central command has its headquarters in the Gulf state of Qatar and it will be able to use its air base on the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia. It could also have at its disposal the large RAF base at Akrotiri in southern Cyprus. Brig Gen Kimmitt described the American base in Djibouti on the Red Sea as a "model for the future". He said: "Twelve thousand Americans have the ability to maintain a presence with a very small footprint on the ground."

He declined to say what role Nato would have in the "long war" against Islamist extremists and terrorists. Brig Gen Kimmitt's speech is the latest indication that the American army is planning significant reductions in its 130,000-strong force in time for the mid-term congressional elections, to be held in November.The number of British troops in Iraq - now totalling 8,500 - is also likely to be reduced in a synchronised move.

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