US Sending 1,000 More Troops to Iraq

As Officials Tout 'Drawdown,' Why Is US Adding Troops?

Though the Iraq War has long since become an after-thought amid Obama Administration claims that the “drawdown” in on track, the Pentagon is reporting today that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has approved a request to send about 1,000 additional troops to Iraq.

The latest report comes less than a week after it was revealed that the Pentagon has added thousands of additional contractors to Iraq, ostensibly to replace US troops during the drawdown.

But of course the drawdown isn’t actually happening. President Obama inherited a war with roughly 135,000 troops in Iraq, and today there are 131,000 and thousands of contractors. Officials have previously insisted there will be no meaningful troop level changes until at least 60 days after January’s parliamentary elections.

Now, over two and a half years after the “surge” in Iraq, troop levels are still above pre-surge levels and apparently will be rising in the near term. Ambassador Hill may claim the US is sticking to its timetable, but it seems that at some point such a highly touted withdrawal will have to involve the removal of some actual troops.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.