Thursday, December 29, 2005

U.S. To

Troops will be reduced from the current level of 160,000 to approximately 138,000 by March. The troops who will be leaving will be those whose services are no longer needed having been replaced by Iraqi security forces.

Hmm, wasn't that the plan all along? Yes, reading back over the past couple years of news, I'd say, yes, that was the plan.

Do you think the Democrats are going to fall all over themselves taking credit for this?

Heh. You can bet your ass they will. In fact, Associated Press makes an opening salvo in the battle for historical revision in this very article:

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - The U.S. will carry out planned withdrawals of American troops in Iraq only from regions where Iraqi forces can maintain security against the insurgents, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said Thursday.

Gen. Peter Pace said the current force of 160,000 would drop to below 138,000 by March, then U.S. commanders on the ground would work with the Iraqi government to determine the pace of future pullbacks in areas that have been secured by local security forces.

"The bottom line will be that the Iraqi army and the Iraqi police will gain in competence, that they will be able to take on more and more of the territory, whether or not there are still insurgents in that area," he said in an interview with a small group of reporters, including The Associated Press, aboard a military plane en route to the United Arab Emirates.

Amid congressional pressure and growing public opposition to the war, the Bush administration last week announced plans to reduce U.S. combat troops in Iraq to below the 138,000 level that prevailed most of this year.

(Pastorius note: Nice try, AP.)

The number of American forces in Iraq was raised to about 160,000 to provide extra security during the October referendum and December parliamentary elections, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said those extra troops would be leaving soon.

The exact size of the additional troops cuts has not been announced, but senior Pentagon officials have said the number of American troops in Iraq could drop to about 100,000 by next fall.

With the handy-dandy calculator my Father-in-Law just gave me for Christmas (CUANAS is slowly, but surely moving into the 21st century, folks), I can calculate that this is a 14% reduction in troops.

Now, the question becomes, what the heck are we going to do about Iran?