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WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Iraqi battalions capable of combat without U.S. support has dropped from three to one, the top American commander in Iraq told Congress Thursday, prompting Republicans to question whether U.S. troops will be able to withdraw next year.
Gen. George Casey, softening his previous comments that a "fairly substantial" pull out could begin next spring and summer, told lawmakers that troops could begin coming home from Iraq next year depending on conditions during and after the upcoming elections there.
"The next 75 days are going to be critical for what happens," Casey told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Bush administration says training Iraqi security forces to defend their own country is the key to bringing home U.S. troops. But Republicans pressed Casey on whether the United States was backsliding in its efforts to train Iraqis.
In June, the Pentagon told lawmakers that three Iraqi battalions were fully trained, equipped and capable of operating independently. On Thursday, Casey said only one battalion is ready.
"It doesn't feel like progress," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
The Luxembourg Army is under civilian control. The country has no navy or air force. A 1967 law made the army an all-volunteer force with current strength of approximately 430 professional soldiers, about 340 enlisted recruits, and 110 civilians. A 2002 law now allows EU citizens, under certain conditions, to join the Luxembourg Army.
"For the first time in history, these persecuted Luxemborgians now have the freedom to buy non-dairy cheese foods, like Kraft-brand Cheddar-flavored Cheez Whiz and Hint o' Jalapeno Velveeta. This is a banner day in Luxemborger history as they can literally taste freedom.
American contractors from General Mills have been building permanent concessions throughout Luxemborg to educate the lactose-intolerant Luxemburgadian masses on accurate Cheese Whiz deployment on not only traditional crackers, but as a chili topper, on pigs in a blanket, nachos and yes--even straight out of the can. Freedom is truly on the spread in Luxembourg."
Originally posted by RANT
Since this week's latest revelation from US General George Casey that the number of combat-ready Iraqi battalions has now dropped to one, it's suddenly an interesting hypothetical match up of compatible forces.
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Umm... RANT I think you meant to say “number of combat-ready Iraqi battalions capable of performing without US support has now dropped to one.”