RealNews

Pentagon drops plan to reduce troops in Iraq

The Pentagon announced yesterday that it will keep up to 138,000 troops in Iraq through 2005, the clearest acknowledgment yet that the continuing attacks by insurgents will prevent any immediate reduction of American occupation forces. The Pentagon earlier this year said the number of US soldiers in Iraq would be cut back to about 115,000 as the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority transferred political power to an interim Iraqi government on June 30. But after the spike in insurgent attacks last month — 136 US troops were killed in April, more than the total lost during seven weeks of major combat last year — the Pentagon will be forced to maintain a large force of combat troops, the officials said. Full Story

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