U.S. Forces in Iraq Deny Hasty Withdrawal

July 11 12:29 2005 Print This Article

Spokesman contradicts secret memo

BAGHDAD, July 11 – Spokesman for the U.S. forces in Iraq Lieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan stated today: “We’re not aware of any disagreements or pressure from either Centcom or the Pentagon on the plan for a conditions- based drawdown or withdrawal of coalition forces, we have had many of our senior commanders on the record as saying we are working toward a conditions-based withdrawal.”

A secret British memo leaked last week and was published in the British newspaper Mail on Sunday after being confirmed genuine by high ranking officials. The memo stated that the U.S. is hoping to cut down the forces in Iraq to 66,000 from the current 176,000 troops. There was also information suggesting that the top officials in the Pentagon and Centcom (regional command) were keener to cut down the troops than the actual ground forces, insinuating differing opinions on the matter among military leaders.

Britain’s forces might be cut down from 8,500 to 3,000 over the next year, a move widely expected and now confirmed by this memo. President Bush said last month that the U.S. will withdraw all troops when the Iraqi army is ready to take over, “As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down,” he noted in a recent speech.

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