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Wednesday, September 05, 2007


The coming troops cuts in Iraq

Following on yesterday's misleading stories about George Bush talking troops cuts in Iraq, today Reuters can't even read it's [Ed. note: that should be "its," but I'm leaving it as is as a way of punishing myself and hopefully precluding future occurrences] own article properly. The article starts with this "information":
The U.S. military commander in Iraq has suggested he will recommend a cut in U.S. troop numbers around March when he delivers long-awaited testimony to Congress next week.

General David Petraeus' comments are the latest sign that U.S. commanders believe President George W. Bush's decision to send an extra 30,000 soldiers to Iraq earlier this year has improved security enough to warrant a reduction in force levels.
Got that? Petraeus will likely recommend a reduction in force because "improved security" warrants it.

But just three paragraphs later, we read an actual quote from Petraeus:

"The surge will run its course. There are limits to what our military can provide, so, my recommendations have to be informed by -- not driven by -- but they have to be informed by the strain we have put on our military services," Petraeus said.

"That has to be a key factor in what I will recommend," he told ABC News in Baghdad in an interview broadcast late on Tuesday.
So in reality, the reduction in force has nothing to do with "improved security" and everything to do with the "strain" on the military, the "key factor" according to Petraeus himself.

And, while Reuters doesn't have a long enough memory to remember it, this post from Daily Kos reminds us Defense [sic] Secretary Gates said last April that the "surge" could only last until next spring because of limitations on troop availability. So the anticipated coming (six months from now!) "reduction" (back to the "pre-surge" levels) was anticipated from the start.

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