Friday, December 23, 2005

Rumsfeld Announces Iraq Troop Cutbacks

"FALLUJAH, Iraq (AP) - Just days after Iraq's elections, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Friday announced the first of what is likely to be a series of U.S. combat troop drawdowns in Iraq in 2006.

Rumsfeld, addressing U.S. troops at this former insurgent stronghold, said President Bush has authorized new cuts below the 138,000 level that has prevailed for most of this year.

Rumsfeld did not reveal the exact size of the cut, but the Pentagon said the reductions would be about 7,000 troops, about the size of two combat brigades. The Pentagon has not announced a timetable for troop reductions, but indications are that the force could be cut significantly by the end of 2006.

That could include substantial reductions well before the November midterm congressional elections, in which Bush's war policies seem certain to be a major issue.

The announcement won praise from congressional Democrats, who also used it to prod President Bush to go even further. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he was glad Bush was "beginning to hear the calls" of the American public and lawmakers who want more detail on the administration's objectives in Iraq."
Politicizing the war..Nooo, not Bush.


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