Joint Chiefs Chairman Likely to Back Big Cut in Troops
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.
Los Angeles Times:
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is expected to advise President Bush to reduce the U.S. force in Iraq next year by almost half, potentially creating a rift with top White House officials and other military commanders over the course of the war.
Administration and military officials say Marine Gen. Peter Pace is likely to convey concerns by the Joint Chiefs that keeping well in excess of 100,000 troops in Iraq through 2008 will severely strain the military. This assessment could collide with one being prepared by the U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, calling for the U.S. to maintain higher troop levels for 2008 and beyond.
Asked about the report that Pace favored the troop cut, White House Deputy Press Secretary Gordon Johndroe said today in Crawford, Texas, where Bush is spending several days at his home, that “the president has received no recommendations regarding our future force posture in Iraq.”