Any news story that says some of our troops are due to come home is GREAT news in my book, and this one is no exception:
BAGHDAD – About 3,500 American soldiers are scheduled to leave Iraq in the coming weeks, the U.S. military announced, as part of the Pentagon’s overall reduction in troop strength after last year’s buildup.
The U.S. plans to trim its forces in Iraq to about 140,000 soldiers by the summer – from a peak of about 170,000 in October at the height of the troop buildup in Baghdad and surrounding areas.
The departing soldiers, part of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, will redeploy to Fort Benning, Ga., the military said.
The United States sent some 30,000 additional troops into Iraq last year to help stem growing violence. The troop increase, a truce by a key Shiite Muslim militia and the rise of Sunni fighters who allied with the United States in the battle against al-Qaida were credited with a sharp decrease in bloodshed during the past 10 months.
The soldiers are part of the third of five brigades scheduled to leave the country. The other two are expected to return to the United States by the end of July. There now are about 159,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
“The continued drawdown of surge brigades demonstrates continued progress in Iraq,” Brig. Gen. Dan Allyn said in the statement released late Monday. “After July, commanders will assess our security posture for about 45 days and determine future force requirements based on these conditions-based assessments.”
Despite what you may read in other places, the fact that the commanders on the ground have decided to send some troops home, proves that the surge has worked. There are good things happening in Iraq every day; progress IS being made. Period. And that has to be great news, for the Iraqis, for our troops, and for our military families, AND for the people of America. Not so good news for the terrorist thugs of course, who are surely feeling the heat.
Welcome home, troops!