Defense Secretary Announces Less Soldiers For Next Year
The surge has worked for the most part, and the effects of having more boots on the ground is being seen in a practical manner in Iraq. As the security situation continues to improve, and the safety and security slowly is taken over by Iraqi National Police and Iraqi Army then the amount of Coalition troops will be reduced. After a week of testimony before Congress MNF Iraq Commanding General David Petraeus has returned to Iraq. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has stated that he believes there will be fewer troops in 2009 in Iraq.
The five brigades that were increased because of the surge will slowly be removed by July 15th. This will leave about 15 different combat brigades serving inside Iraq. The surge withdrawal will go slowly from now to July, and then there will be a 45-day period of examination.
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“We will be waiting for a reasonable length of time to see what will happen from the surge,” said Secretary Gates. “The impact of the overall surge will be evaluated to judge what will or what should happen next,” stated Gates.
General Petraeus has asked for a period of 45 days to evaluate the results of the surge, and the President has stated that the general can have any time that he needs to evaluate the overall progress. After the July period of withdrawal a 45-day period would take it to mid September, to judge the overall progress of the surge.