Wednesday, July 07, 2004

US Begins Planning Reduction of Iraq Force

According to a New York Times article, the Pentagon is working on plans to reduce US force requirements in Iraq by 2006.

At a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, the top operations officer for the Joint Staff, Lt. Gen. Norton A. Schwartz of the Air Force, signaled that this thinking was well under way. When asked about planning for the size of an American force that could move into Iraq for yearlong assignments beginning in early 2006, he declined to give specific figures but said, "The bottom line is, it is different than what we anticipate" for 2005. He added, "There is a significant planning effort that will wrap up later this summer.''

I predict the structure of US forces will change significantly in Iraq and in such a way as to allow the overall troop levels to be decreased. I am looking for larger OSUT type Iraqi units to become active, with more joint security operations as a prelude to the US forces realignment.


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