- Peace Garden: U.S. drafts plan for steep troop cuts in Iraq

U.S. drafts plan for steep troop cuts in Iraq

Saturday, June 24, 2006

U.S. drafts plan for steep troop cuts in Iraq

The top U.S. commander in Iraq has drafted a plan that projects steep reductions in the U.S. military presence there by the end of 2007, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
Citing U.S. officials with knowledge of a classified Pentagon briefing this week by Gen. George Casey, the Times said the first cuts would come in September, and the number of U.S. combat brigades in Iraq is then projected to fall to five or six from the current level of 14 by the end of next year.
The withdrawals are greater than many experts and analysts had expected, the Times said on its Web site in a story to be published in its Sunday edition. The officials spoke of the Pentagon briefing on condition of anonymity, and some described the plan as more of a forecast than a hard timeline.
Great news right? Oh wait - a little caveat:
The withdrawals would depend on continued progress among Iraqi security forces and a drop in Sunni Arab hostility toward the new Iraqi government, and assume that the insurgency will not expand beyond Iraq's six central provinces, the Times said.
Oh well, there goes that plan.

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