The Bush administration plans to announce next week that U.S. soldiers’ combat tours will be reduced from 15 months to 12 months in Iraq and Afghanistan beginning later this summer, The Associated Press has learned.
The decision, expected to get final, formal approval in the days ahead, comes as Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, prepares to deliver a progress report to Congress next week on the improved security situation there. He is also expected to make recommendations for future troop levels.
#2: Bush pledges to boost our force in Afghanistan.
President Bush told a NATO summit that the United States would increase its number of troops in Afghanistan, administration officials said yesterday, even as reports surfaced that the administration would reduce U.S. soldiers’ combat tours from 15 months to 12 months.
#3: The president rules out drawing any more troops out of Iraq.
President George W. Bush will signal next week that he will pull no more troops out of Iraq while he is president, once his troop surge ends in the summer.
His senior Iraq commander General David Petraeus will use his testimony to congress on Tuesday and Wednesday to argue for continuing political support for the tactics of the surge strategy even after a planned drawdown of troops.
#1 will effectively reduce our available forces by 20% at the same time that attrition, particularly among officers, has become an epidemic. #2 would usually pull troops from our reserves, but we don’t have reserves. All of our available forces are deployed. That means that #1, #2 and #3 cannot all be true. Even two out of three seems unlikely.
For a fun exercise, let’s compile all of the times that Bush has formally made a pledge to win some minor advantage then ignored it. I can think of any number of instances when Tony Blair got burned by Bush promises over Iraq, but we all know that the list goes on much longer than a busy blogger wants to compile on a balmy Saturday. Throw out examples that come to your mind, preferably with links, and I will compile them later into a post.