The top U.S. military commander in Iraq said Wednesday that he is unlikely to call for another troop buildup in Iraq, even if security deteriorates after the extra American soldiers return home this summer.
Gen. David Petraeus told a House panel that such a move would be considered the last resort, in part because of the strain it would place on the Army. First, the military could try to reallocate existing troops to respond to any hotspots. It also would rely more on Iraqi forces, which are improving in capability, he said.
“That would be a pretty remote thought in my mind,” he said of reinstating last year’s influx of troops. Petraeus has recommended to President Bush that the U.S. complete, by the end of July, the withdrawal of the 20,000 troops that were sent to Iraq last year to calm the violence there. Beyond that, the general proposed a 45-day evaluation period, to be followed by an indefinite period of assessment before he would recommend any further pullouts.
If the general says so imagine how things …really are! But there is a catch here as well, fine no more troops but what about the number of troops already there?