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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon is prepared to leave fighting forces in Iraq for as long as a decade despite an agreement between the United States and Iraq that would bring all American troops home by 2012, the top U.S. Army officer said Tuesday.
Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, said the world remains dangerous and unpredictable, and the Pentagon must plan for extended U.S. combat and stability operations in two wars. "Global trends are pushing in the wrong direction," Casey said. "They fundamentally will change how the Army works."
But Ms. Rice said troop withdrawals had to be based on results, not arbitrary timetables. She declined a request by Senator Paul S. Sarbanes, Democrat of Maryland, to say whether American troops could be pulled out in 10 years, saying it was "not appropriate" to "try and speculate" about such matters.