American troops could still be in Iraq four years from
now, the war's former commander told members of Congress
concerned about persistent, deadly attacks.
The number of U.S. troops in Iraq probably won't
decline significantly from the current 148,000 until
sometime next year, Gen. Tommy Franks said Thursday. The
kinds of hit-and-run attacks that killed two American
soldiers Wednesday will continue, he warned.
"We need to not develop an expectation that all of
these difficulties will go away in one month or two
months or three months," Franks told the House Armed
"I anticipate we'll be involved in Iraq in the
future," Franks added later. "Whether that means two
years or four years, I don't know."
Congressional critics kept up their questioning of
the administration's justifications for going to war and
its characterizations of the current outlook in Iraq.
Ike Skelton of Missouri, said he worried "we may find
ourselves in the throes of guerrilla warfare for years."
More than 70 American soldiers have died since Bush
declared major combat over May 1.
Much of the criticism has focused on Bush's main
justification for the war -- that Saddam Hussein's
government had chemical and biological weapons and was
working to build more of them and develop nuclear bombs.
No such weapons have been found in Iraq.