View Full Version : Rumsfeld to Cut Troops in Iraq

12-24-2005, 09:26 AM
24 Dec. Wasington Times - Rumsfeld to Cut Troops in Iraq (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20051223-110926-2839r.htm).

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld yesterday said that U.S. troop levels in Iraq will dip below a base force of 138,000, the first in what is expected to be a string of reductions as local security forces take on more counterinsurgency missions next year.

President Bush has authorized an adjustment in U.S. combat brigades in Iraq from 17 to 15, said Mr. Rumsfeld, who is in Iraq conferring with commanders and visiting with troops.

The effect of these adjustments will reduce U.S. forces in Iraq by the spring 2006 below the high, the current high of roughly 160,000 during the [Iraqi] election period, when it was bulked up and also below the 138,000 base line that had existed prior to the most recent election, he said.

Army Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, said, It's just a start here. ... It's going to be measured in a gradual process here that's going to play out over the next year or two.

He said the public will not see the net reduction until March, when the command completes its yearly rotation of forces in and out of Iraq.

At that time, the total U.S. deployment should shrink to 130,000, he said...