PENTAGON READY TO PULL TROOPS OUT OF SAUDI ARABIA
WASHINGTON [MENL] -- The Defense Department has prepared plans for the
withdrawal of U.S. troops and major military facilities from Saudi Arabia.
Officials said the pullout could begin later this year in the aftermath of a
successful military campaign to topple the regime of Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein. They said the withdrawal would be launched within weeks after the
situation in Iraq stabilizes.
"We won't need troops in Saudi Arabia when there's no longer an Iraqi
threat," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said. "The Saudi problem
will be transformed."
Wolfowitz, in an interview on National Public Radio on Wednesday, envisoned
a secular and modern Iraq in the aftermath of the Saddam regime. He
contrasted the Iraqi people, most of whom are Shi'ites, with the Sunni
majority in Saudi Arabia and predicted that Iraqis will not launch a
backlash against the United States.