http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200611/NAT20061113a.html Abrupt US Withdrawal Would Be 'Utterly Disastrous' By Mark Finkelstein CNSNews.com Correspondent November 13, 2006 Excerpt Baghdad (CNSNews.com) - An abrupt withdrawal of American troops from Iraq would be a "disaster for Iraqis and for the region," Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for National Security Dr. Barham Salih told Cybercast News Service in a one-on-one interview in his offices in Baghdad on Sunday. "Iraqis want to assume the lead in the defense of the security of the country," Salih said. "This is something that should be celebrated. But I think we will need American military support for some time to come." From his perspective as an Iraqi government official, Salih admitted that the current strategy in Iraq is "not working fast enough" for the Iraqis or for the United States. "Unless the natives of the land take charge, be responsible and defend the interests of the nation, the United States cannot help us," he said. He sees the U.S. role as helping Iraqis help themselves. Salih repeated that an abrupt U.S. troop withdrawal "would be utterly disastrous," but he also said he doesn't think that will happen. The Israelis agree. http://www.cnsnews.com/ThisHour.asp#Israeli%20PM%20Cautions%20Against%20Hasty%20US%20Withdrawal%20From%20Iraq Israeli PM Cautions Against Hasty US Withdrawal From Iraq EXCERPT Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has cautioned against a hasty U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq. Israeli officials rarely comment on the situation in Iraq, although analysts here have said that a premature withdrawal would be disastrous for the region. Asked how a U.S. withdrawal would affect the security of Israel, Olmert told Newsweek magazine, "If there is a premature pullout before Iraq has a robust government with a strong authority that can keep the country from collapsing into an internal civil war, America will have to think about the possible ramifications on neighboring Arab countries with moderate governments." In the interview, Olmert questioned how a U.S. withdrawal would affect the stability of moderate Arab countries, give the "radical forces that might flourish as a result of a premature pullout of America." Experts here have said that a premature withdrawal would only embolden radical Islamist elements and terrorists in the Middle East.