General Petraeus’ Recommendation
The New York Times’ version of General David Petraeus much-anticipated recommendation on how to proceed in Iraq is that 1) the surge has been successful enough, both against the enemy and in giving Iraqis the confidence to fight on our side, to allow a draw-down of troops to pre-surge levels, possibly between December and next August and 2) that the situation on the ground must be re-evaluated in six months to decide where to go from there…
The top American commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, has recommended that decisions on the contentious issue of reducing the main body of the American troops in Iraq be put off for six months, American officials said Sunday.
General Petraeus, whose long-awaited testimony before Congress will begin Monday, has informed President Bush that troop cuts may begin in mid-December, with the withdrawal of one of the 20 American combat brigades in Iraq, about 4,000 troops. By August, the American force in Iraq would be down to 15 combat brigades, the force level before Mr. Bush’s troop reinforcement plan….
“He has also argued that recommendations on reductions below the presurge force levels would be premature at this time, and that recommendations on such adjustments should wait until March 2008,” the officer added.