The American people should find it a very worrisome development Defense Secretary Gates’s statement yesterday that he believes there should be a pause in the U.S. troop drawdown from Iraq come July of this year when the currently slated U.S. troop drawdown is complete. This is because such a troop withdrawal suspension could unleash troubling anti-U.S. activity and anti-Iraq government activity that could jeopardize the present successes in Iraq. Currently, a big factor in the improvement in the security situation in Iraq is Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army suspending its militant activity (because al Sadr called for a suspension); everyone knows al Sadr is intensely anti-American, the U.S. suspension could very likely be all the reason he needs to call his Mahdi Army to start up its militancy. An increase in the use of Improvised Explosive Devices and the Explosive Formed Penetrators by militants in Iraq will result in increased American casualties, a horrid thought for the American people, a suspension in the U.S. troop withdrawal very well may increase the pressure in Iran to increase its flow of these deadly devices into Iraq who we know has been a principle supplier of these devices into Iraq. Plus, the American troops even as outstanding as they are sometimes accidentally kill our Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish allies which puts worrisome pressure on these critical alliances, good judgment recognizes everything America can do to get its troops out of these unfortunate situations will be best for the success of Iraq – continuing the troop drawdown is the best the nation can do on this issue. The majority of the Iraqi people recognize that the American people are being great friends to the Iraqi people in helping Iraq with their current security problem but like all people they don’t like a foreign army in their country, if the roles were reversed we wouldn’t like it either, America needs to continue the troop draw down to diminish these anti-foreigner feelings in Iraq; just consider how this type of problem reared its ugly head in the Iraq parliament over the past two weeks when some Iraq leaders tried to move legislation in the Iraq parliament calling for provincial elections, which are desperately needed because many Sunnis aren’t adequately represented in the Iraq government because they boycotted the last elections, and a group of members of the Iraq parliament stood up in opposition proclaiming the U.S. is behind this legislation and Iraqi sovereignty is being violated. What makes Secretary Gates’s statements here particularly worrisome is that Mr. Gates is one of the few top people in the current President’s administration that is in touch with mainstream America and has the character to readily bring to bear the values and perspectives that mainstream Americans would want brought to this problem; the media seems to be factoring this point in when it seems to be predicting that the White House will be taking the pause or suspension course. The right course for the U.S. to be taking to not jeopardize the security gains in Iraq is to continue the drawdown past July but just slow it down to the rate of one brigade withdrawn every three months with fifteen brigades left in Iraq come July there will exists plenty of military force left in Iraq at this rate to handle security challenges that arise and the fact that Al Anbar province is scheduled to be turned over to total Iraq government control in a March/April timeframe should indicate that the current military workload for the U.S. in Iraq is being diminished and thus troops can be spared for removal from that theater.