The British government is planning to downsize its military presence in Iraq this May by 800 to leave a total of 7,000 troops, a move Defense Secretary John Reid insists is not meant to signal a “handover of responsibility” to Iraqi forces, according to the BBC. Updated
It looks as though Gen. Peter Pace, whose term as Joint Chiefs chairman and the president’s top military adviser is about to expire, may go out with a bang. While Gen. David Petraeus is expected to back the White House’s push for an extended surge, Gen. Pace is likely to call for a major reduction—by almost half—of U.S. forces in Iraq in order to address the long-term needs of an overextended military.
By Crooks and Liars’ calculation, it’s a reduction of around 28,000 by next year. The hypocrisy: After spending the entire last week savaging Rep. John Murtha’s proposal for a pullout, it now appears that the Bush administration is preparing to “cut and run.”