Don't mess with the US, top general warns
The head of the US Central Command has warned Iran and other countries against thinking they can exploit the situation because the US military is fighting two major missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the USA Today newspaper reported.
The general also said that the United States had enough troops to provide security for Iraq's planned elections, but expressed concern that the current crisis in Ukraine could cause that country to withdraw its troops from Iraq.
Some members of Congress have expressed concern that there is a shortage of US troops, and such a scenario might tempt nations like Iran and North Korea to increase terrorist activity or develop weapons of mass destruction, the newspaper said.
But Abizaid, whose military zone includes most of central Asia, including Afghanistan, and the Middle East, as well as parts of northeast Africa, said any nation perceiving a weakness in the US military should think twice.
"We can generate more military power per square inch than anybody else on Earth, and everybody knows it," USA Today quoted Abizaid as saying.
"If you ever even contemplate our nuclear capability, it should give everybody the clear understanding that there is no power that can match the United States militarily."
Abizaid said there was no need for a major expansion of the military at this time, even to provide security for Iraqi elections scheduled for January 30, the paper reported.
"There are plenty of troops to fight the war on terrorism," the general said.
Getting other nations to commit troops "is not a military problem in my mind as much as a political problem," he added. "Nations have to come to the conclusion that it is a fight worth fighting."
Abizaid said he was concerned that political unrest in Ukraine, where tens of thousands are protesting alleged electoral fraud, would cause the country to pull its troops from Iraq, USA Today said.
Ukraine has 1,400 troops in Iraq.