9 Feb. Associated Press - Experts Say U.S. in Iraq for Long Haul.

All signs point to a major drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq in 2006 _ perhaps to fewer than 100,000 by year's end. But it is far from certain when there will be further reductions, or a total pullout, after that.

In fact, it now looks as if the United States may have a long-term and substantial military presence in Iraq, military experts say.

Generals have been reluctant to set specific public timetables, but Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander, noted this week that insurgencies in the 20th century lasted on average nine years. The Iraq war is coming up on year three.

"Because of the nature of counterinsurgency, it's often hard for people to define what victory is," Casey said. "It's not D-Day. There's not a big battle and it's all over. It's about people making choices so it evolves over time. And that's exactly what you see here."...