It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
In the interview, Talabani said he planned to discuss reductions in U.S. forces during a private meeting with President Bush today, and said he believed the United States could begin pulling out some troops immediately.
"We think that America has the full right to move some forces from Iraq to their country because I think we can replace them [with] our forces," Talabani said. "In my opinion, at least from 40,000 to 50,000 American troops can be [withdrawn] by the end of this year."
That assessment differs dramatically from those offered by Bush and by U.S. military commanders in Iraq.
Bush has carefully avoided setting a timetable for reducing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, currently about 140,000, and the Pentagon plans to maintain or slightly increase the force level in anticipation of an Oct. 15 referendum on Iraq's new constitution. White House officials say that Bush's strategy for eventually withdrawing troops hinges on Iraqis' approving the constitution and holding successful elections in December.