Redeployment from Iraq
Posted by: McQ
on Saturday, September 06, 2008
It looks like it is about to begin:
Under the Pentagon recommendations, one combat brigade - numbering between 3,500 to 4,000 troops - will leave Iraq after the first of the year and will not be replaced. In addition, at least one Marine battalion will leave and not be replaced, as well as a few thousand support forces, defense officials said. The total number being talked about is 8,000, which would seem to mean that an almost equal number of combat service and combat service support troops will leave.
The total footprint begins to shrink. Remember, they're not talking about surge brigades here. Those are already gone and weren't replaced.
Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, delivered his recommendations to military leaders about two weeks ago. He had initially argued to maintain the current force levels in Iraq - about 146,000 troops, including 15 combat brigades and thousands of support forces - through June, according to defense officials. In June, another decision will be made as to whether to replace combat brigades which are leaving. I'd like to see it reduced to 10 combat brigades by then, and perhaps, if conditions warrant, 7 by the end of 2009.