Monday, October 27, 2008

No Iraq troop drawdown timeline look again

It's official...

maybe, maybe not?

09 September 2008

United States Withdrawing 8,000 Troops from Iraq by February
Drawdown attributed to lessening levels of violence
By Merle D. Kellerhals Jr. Staff Writer

Washington — Improving security across Iraq, coupled with a sustained reduction in the levels of violence, is making it possible for the United States to reduce its forces by nearly 8,000 personnel by February 2009.

"While the enemy in Iraq is still dangerous, we have seized the offensive, and Iraqi forces are becoming increasingly capable of leading and winning the fight," President Bush said. "As a result, we have been able to carry out a policy of 'return on success' — reducing American combat forces in Iraq as conditions on the ground continue to improve."

After receiving a detailed assessment of troop levels and the improving security situation in Iraq from U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and coalition forces commander General David Petraeus earlier this month, Bush said the United States will withdraw 3,400 combat support personnel over the next several months. That drawdown will include personnel assigned to aviation units, explosive ordnance teams, combat and construction engineer units, military police and logistical support units.

By November a Marine battalion now serving in Anbar province will be withdrawn. And in February another Army combat brigade will be withdrawn.

Bush noted that on September 1 Iraqi forces assumed control of security for Anbar province. "Iraqi forces are now leading security operations across Anbar, with American troops in an ‘overwatch’ role," he said.

"This amounts to about 8,000 additional American troops returning home without replacement," Bush said September 9 in an address at the National Defense University.

From The TimesAugust 14, 2008

Iraq minister: US combat troops to pull out in three years under new deal

American soldiers will withdraw from cities across Iraq next summer and all US combat troops will leave the country within three years, provided the violence remains low, under the terms of a draft agreement with the Iraqi Government.

In one of the most detailed insights yet into the content of the deal, Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, has also told The Times that the US military would be barred from unilaterally mounting attacks inside Iraq from next year.

In addition, the power of arrest for US soldiers would be curbed by the need to hand over any detainee to a new, US-Iraqi committee. Troops would require the green light from this joint command before conducting any operation.

The Pentagon refused to comment last night on the proposals laid out in the draft agreement between Baghdad and Washington that covers the status of US forces beyond 2008. Britain will strike its own deal with Iraq but Gor-don Brown hopes to withdraw most British troops from Iraq by next summer, reducing the number of soldiers from 4,100 to “a few hundred” by then.

Powell endorsement of Obama discussion

Oct. 21, 2008
Barack Obama Accepts Endorsement of Colin Powell Despite the Ex-General’s Role in Making the Case for Iraq War

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