Iraq: Secret UK memo says US weighing troop drawdown
Glenn Frankel and Josh White write in today's WashPost:
The United States and Britain are drawing up plans to withdraw the majority of their troops from Iraq by the middle of next year, according to a secret memo written for British Prime Minister Tony Blair by Defense Secretary John Reid.
The paper, which is marked "Secret -- UK Eyes Only," said "emerging U.S. plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006," allowing a reduction in overall U.S.-led forces in Iraq to 66,000 troops. The troop level is now at about 160,000, including 138,000 American troops, according to a military spokesman in Baghdad. [Read the rest.]
The memo story broke over the weekend in Britain's The Mail on Sunday, featuring a copy of the leaked Reid memo.