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NEWS: UK Memo Cites Plans For Troop Reduction

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posted on Jul, 11 2005 @ 09:16 AM
A secret British memo states that US and British officials are planning for the first major troop reduction in Iraq by the middle of next year. According to the memo, the plan would call for a reduction of the 8500 British troops to around 3000 troop, while American forces are reduced to 66,000 from the current level of 138,000.
LONDON, July 10 -- The United States and Britain are drawing up plans to withdraw the majority of their troops from Iraq by the middle of next year, according to a secret memo written for British Prime Minister Tony Blair by Defense Secretary John Reid.

The paper, which is marked "Secret -- UK Eyes Only," said "emerging U.S. plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006," allowing a reduction in overall U.S.-led forces in Iraq to 66,000 troops. The troop level is now at about 160,000, including 138,000 American troops, according to a military spokesman in Baghdad.

Reid on Sunday did not dispute the authenticity of the document, but said that no decision on troop levels had been made. In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman said officials there had not seen the document.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

It would not surprise me to see troops being withdrawn from Iraq starting next year, however the memos take on the number of troops being withdrawn is something I'm not sure about.
If by this time next year Iraqi forces are strong enough to take conrol of the security of their country, that would be great and I would love to see well over half our troops being withdrawn. However, the Iraqi army and police forces still have a ways to go, and I'm not sure they'll be completely ready for such a large pullout.
Bush and Blair have pledged to stay the course and not name a deadline. As it stands right now, considering all other options and looking at the situation, that seems to be the best option.

posted on Jul, 11 2005 @ 01:32 PM
I'm actually surprised a major newspaper like the Washington Post picked up a story like this.
I wish the memo was dated as I have a feeling this memo could be old....I still think we'll see troop reductions next year however.

posted on Jul, 11 2005 @ 03:23 PM
Could this memo be a counter-argument to the conclusion that the terrorist attacks in London and Iraq and the deteriorating situation in Iraq require more, not less, troops in Iraq?
Could it be that 9 months from now this memo is forgotten?

posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 08:48 AM
an update of sorts...

WASHINGTON (AP) - Major reductions in U.S. troop levels in Iraq next year appear increasingly likely, although Pentagon officials said Monday it is too early to predict the specific size and timing.

The Pentagon is eager to pull some of its 135,000 troops out of Iraq in 2006, partly because the counterinsurgency is stretching the Army and Marine Corps perilously thin as casualties mount and partly because officials believe the presence of a large U.S. force is generating tacit support for anti-American violence.

It appears highly unlikely that any significant numbers will be withdrawn before the end of the year. U.S. commanders expect the insurgency to remain at or near its current strength at least until after a scheduled October referendum on a new Iraqi constitution, followed by December elections for a new government.

big news, no?

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