Tuesday, October 13, 2009

U.S. lays out pace of Iraq pullout

"Baghdad - By the end of October, American troop strength in Iraq will be 120,000, a decrease of 23,000 since January, the top U.S. military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, said Monday. The next big reduction will not come until well after the national elections in January, he added."
Lanza referred repeatedly to a “responsible drawdown.” It was his first full-scale news conference since May, when he addressed reporters in advance of Iraqi security forces' taking the lead in security operations on June 30.
”I really think the elections will be a point of departure by which we look at an assessment of true drawdown and really start moving our numbers from, let's say, somewhere between 120,000 and 110,000 by the election, and then getting at that 50,000 by August 2010,” he said Monday.
The United States has pledged to remove all combat troops from Iraq by next August, leaving 50,000 troops to advise and support the Iraqis.
Already, the first so-called advise and assist brigade, devoted exclusively
to training Iraqi troops, has arrived in Anbar Province, he said. That is the
1st Brigade of the army's 82nd Airborne Division. It will eventually be joined
by five more such brigades once American combat troops are gone.

full story... TheDay.com - U.S. lays out pace of Iraq pullout:

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