America starts bringing troops home

From today's Torygraph.

America starts bringing troops home
By Francis Harris
(Filed: 21/12/2005)

America yesterday began the long process of bringing home its battle-scarred battalions from frontline service in Afghanistan and Iraq.

If executed in full, the redeployments would bring back close to 25,000 men and significantly ease the burden on America's weary legions after four years of war.

The process began yesterday when Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, ordered a 2,500-man cut in the force in Afghanistan by the spring. That will reduce American troops levels to 16,500.

They will be replaced by British, Canadian and Dutch troops in the still-volatile Pathan heartlands of the mountainous south.

Announcing the decision, Lawrence De Rita, the Pentagon spokesman, noted that there were more than enough forces to continue the fight with the Taliban and al-Qa'eda.

"The overall level of Afghan and coalition security forces in the country is growing. They [Afghan security forces] are seen as an increasing factor in the country," he said.

Over the next month, America is also scheduled to bring home 12,000 men from Iraq. The units were despatched to protect Iraqi voters in parliamentary elections held earlier this month.

Their departure would take American forces there back to their "baseline" level of 138,000. But officials told The Washington Post that plans were now well advanced for a further substantial reduction. It is expected that the Pentagon will order home another 9,000 troops by the spring as newly trained Iraqi units replace their American counterparts.
Un-Friendly-Fire said:
Im just curious, how many troops would the US need to free up to invade iran?
Moot point. It's not going to happen. The Septics would need upwards of 500,000 troops (plus equipment) to even entertain the idea. Don't forget, the Iranians held off the entire Iraqi army for something like eight years.


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