U.S. officials tell ABC News that the troop levels in Iraq cannot be maintained at the present level, either politically or practically, with the military stretched so thin.
But that does not imply an immediate drawdown. Officials tell ABC's Martha Raddatz the senior commanders in Iraq -- Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno and Gen. David Petraeus -- want the surge to continue until at least December, and expect to report enough progress by September to justify the extension.
The drawdown would begin in February 2008, although each of the two generals supports a slightly different plan.
Plan one, which officials say is being pushed by Odierno, calls for a reduction in troops from roughly 150,000 today to 100,000 by December of 2008.
Petraeus champions a slightly different approach that would be to cut the troops down to roughly 130,000 by the end of 2008, with further reductions the following year.
Friday, June 01, 2007
by Atrios at 18:58