U.S. Forces, Ready to Stand Down, Look for Relief

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The U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division handed over responsibility for Baghdad to the First Cavalry Division Wednesday, but elsewhere, U.S. commanders are waiting for Iraqi forces to stand up so U.S. forces can stand down.

The weakness of Iraqi forces was again demonstrated by the brazen, daytime kidnapping of scores of civilians from the Ministry of Higher Education Tuesday — and the ongoing confusion about their fate.

U.S. policymakers are pondering new strategies for Iraq: possible timetables, withdrawals, diplomatic initiatives and the Iraq Study Group's recommendations. But for U.S. forces in Iraq, it's still status quo.



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