Back to the Watches

When US ground troops pull out of Iraq, the US Air Force probably would remain—for many years to come—confirmed the USAF Chief of Staff. Speaking with defense reporters Tuesday, Gen. Michael Moseley said, “I believe the air component will be there a long time.” As indigenous Iraqi ground troops take over more of the national security and constabulary functions in that country, the US Air Force likely will still have to support them with aerial sensors, close air support, and tactical airlift, Moseley said, noting that the Iraqi air force currently only has a few hand-me-down C-130s. He likened USAF operations in the future to the 1990s “no-fly zones”—Operations Northern and Southern Watch.