Lack of Actual Troop Cuts Doesn't Harm General's Optimism
In Mid-February, the Pentagon announced that there were around 98,000 troops in Iraq and that they remained “on track” for the August drawdown to 50,000 troops. Today, over two months later, the top commander in Iraq reiterated his confidence about this pledge.
Gen. Odierno’s public optimism about the Iraq drawdown has not changed, but the violence in the nation has, rising dramatically over the past two months as the disputed March 7 election gives way to factional infighting.
With just four months left to make good on this promise, the prospect that they will actually get it done seems more remote than ever, and with around 95,000 troops left, the troop levels don’t seem to be in line with the pledges.
Gen. Odierno sought to downplay the rising violence, insisting that Iraqis had “rejected al-Qaeda.” He also insisted there was no plan to keep troops in the nation past 2011, but said if the Iraqi government wanted them “then we’ll see.“
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US Drone Strike Kills 21 in Yemen, Including Civilians - April 19th, 2014
- Obama Signs Law Barring Iran's UN Envoy From Post - April 18th, 2014
- DM Confirms: US Ground Troops Deploying to Poland - April 18th, 2014
- Japan Sends Troops to Island, Risking China Tensions - April 18th, 2014
- Sen Reid: Backers of Rancher Are 'Domestic Terrorists' - April 18th, 2014