Bush Envisions US Presence in Iraq Like South Korea

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President Bush would like to see the U.S. military provide long-term stability in Iraq as it has in South Korea, where thousands of American troops have been based for more than half a century, the White House said Wednesday.

Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, told reporters that Bush believes U.S. forces eventually will end their combat role in Iraq but will continue to be needed in the country to deter threats and to help handle potential crises, as they have done in South Korea.

The United States has 30,000 troops in South Korea; its military presence there dates to the 1950-53 Korean War....

Michael O'Hanlon, a defense analyst at Brookings Institution, said Snow's comparison of Iraq and South Korea would hurt efforts to convince Iraqis and others that the United States does not plan an indefinite military stay.

"In trying to convey resolve, he conveys the presumption that we're going to be there for a long time," O'Hanlon said. "It's unhelpful to handling the politics of our presence in Iraq."

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