General Plans New Round of Iraq Troop Cuts

Petraeus reveals second withdrawal likely after July
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2008 5:45 AM CST
In this image released by the US Army, the top U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus meets with Oscar winning actress and a U.N. goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie, right, and Paula Dobriansky, the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – General David Petraeus is preparing new plans to withdraw American troops from Iraq on top of previously announced reductions. The US commander in Iraq said that after more than 20,000 soldiers are pulled out by July, he will recommend further cutbacks later in the year, he told the Times of London. Pressed to give a number, he said only: "We have a range based on various situations."

The general had announced the July troop reduction, which will cut America's military presence in Iraq by a quarter, in a report to Washington last September. Petraeus also discussed the Iraq parliament's belated passage of a budget and an amnesty law, which he called "a big deal," and his concern about breakaway Shia factions which the military alleges are trained by Iran.