Saturday, July 09, 2005
Via Zemblan patriot J.M.: The Sunday Mail is reporting that the U.S. and the UK are both preparing to yank most of their troops out of the quagmire. We can only hope it's true:
A leaked document from Britain's Defence Ministry says the British and U.S. governments are planning to reduce their troop levels in Iraq by more than half by mid-2006, the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.
The memo, reportedly written by Defence Minister John Reid, said Britain would reduce its troop numbers to 3,000 from 8,500 by the middle of next year . . . .
The memo said Washington planned to cut its forces to 66,000 from about 140,000 by early 2006.
"Emerging U.S. plans assume 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006," the memo said . . . .
"There is, however, a debate between the Pentagon/Centcom, who favour a relatively bold reduction in force numbers and the multi-national force in Iraq, whose approach is more cautious," read the memo . . . .
"The Japanese will be reluctant to stay if protection is solely provided by the Iraqis. The Australian position may also be uncertain."
The memo said reducing British troop levels in Iraq would save about 1 billion pounds ($1.74 billion) per year.