Don’t get fooled again

Cato Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

09/20/07

We have heard Bush administration officials express optimism for a reduction in the U.S. military presence many, many times before. Indeed, the Pentagon’s original plan envisioned — quite astonishingly — having no more than 50,000 to 60,000, and perhaps as few as 30,000 troops remaining in Iraq by the end of 2003. Periodically thereafter, U.S. officials indicated that a partial withdrawal of troops was likely in the not-too-distant future. In December 2005, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld informed reporters that adjustments ‘will reduce forces in Iraq by the spring of 2006 below the current high of 160,000 during the [Iraqi] election period to below the 138,000 baseline that had existed before the most recent elections.’ Six months later, Gen. George Casey, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq stated: ‘I am confident that we will be able to continue to take reductions over the course of this year.’ But the promises of troop drawdowns were always set months into the future — and the future never seemed to arrive...

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8707


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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