U.S. troops patrol a neighborhood in Iraq in 2008.
The U.S. military is moving to trim its troop count in Iraq to 50,000 by Sept. 1, at which point the remaining personnel will assume an “advise-train-assist” role. But the American commander there says that if Iraqi security forces fall down on the job, U.S. troops could be thrust back into a combat role. —JCL
The top U.S. military commander in Iraq said local security forces will be ready for the withdrawal of American troops next year, but the United States could return to combat operations if needed.
The Pentagon plans to cut troop numbers in Iraq to 50,000 by September 1—down from 176,000 at the peak of the deployment after the 2003 invasion to topple dictator Saddam Hussein.
U.S. troops will stay in Iraq in an “advise-train-assist” role until the end of next year, Army General Raymond Odierno said in an interview aired on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.