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Military options for Iraq

WASHINGTON—The military options for Iraq fall into four broad categories:

RAPID WITHDRAWAL—Advocates say a quick pullout is the fastest way to stop the loss of American life, undercut the insurgents and force Iraqis to take responsibility for their security.

PHASED WITHDRAWAL—Supporters say that announcing a withdrawal timetable, even if it takes months to leave, would produce the benefits of a quick pullout while minimizing the risk of civil war and chaos.

MORE TROOPS —Escalation advocates say more troops would help stop the flow of Islamic extremists into Iraq and help secure cities and towns that have been cleared of insurgents.

STAY THE COURSE—President Bush and his supporters say Iraq is on a slow but steady path to democracy. They urge patience, because pulling out before stability is assured would be a dangerous setback for the United States.


(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.