Finally good news. From the Washington Times:
Joint Chiefs chairman hints at drawdown
The nation’s top military officer Wednesday declared the security situation in Iraq”remarkably better,” so good in fact that he expects to recommend more U.S. troop reductions this fall if conditions hold.
Just back from a tour of two war fronts – Iraq and the Afghanistan-Pakistan region – Adm. Michael G. Mullen said he expected to witness improvements in Baghdad and across Iraq, but was surprised by how well a 17-month-old U.S. troop surge has worked.
“I won’t go so far as to say that progress in Iraq, from a military perspective, has reached a tipping point or it is irreversible,” Adm. Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman, said at a press conference with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. “But security is unquestionably and remarkably better.”
The last of five reinforcement combat brigades have left Iraq, leaving behind 15 such units. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, a key architect of the February 2007 surge and recently confirmed by the Senate to lead U.S. Central Command, has called for several months of assessment before deciding whether to reduce troop levels below about 145,000.
But Adm. Mullen’s statement that “I expect to be able early in the fall to recommend to the secretary and to the president further troop reductions” is a clear signal that top commanders in Iraq think a continued drawdown is warranted.
The two most important questions in the equation are: Can the Iraqi Security Forces inherit and win the fight, and is the insurgency nearly defeated?
I can’t help posting great news like this.