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Pentagon Hints At U.S. Consensus On Iraq Force Cuts

28 November 2005 -- The Pentagon has suggested that U.S. forces in Iraq are likely to be reduced soon after elections there to about 140,000.

Spokesman Lawrence DiRita told reporters on 28 November that no decisions had been made on U.S. force levels in 2006 beyond drawing down the roughly 20,000 troops used for a temporary buildup through the 15 December parliament elections.

DiRita added that there was "more or less growing consensus" that it will be possible to reduce the number of U.S. soldiers in Iraq beyond the core force of U.S. 140,000 troops.

The White House has issued a statement calling a proposal by Democrat Senator Joseph Biden for a 50,000-troop reduction in Iraq in 2006 "remarkably similar" to its own "plan for victory."


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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