Petraeus: Give Me Six More Months

Wants Congress to postpone decision on bringing troops home
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2007 4:36 AM CDT
President Bush, right, stands with Gen. David Petraeus as he arrives for a surprise visit at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. The president made an unannounced visit to...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The commander of US forces in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, wants to postpone a decision to significantly reduce troop levels there for another six months, reports the New York Times. The general, who is scheduled to begin testimony before Congress today, has told the president he is willing to withdraw one brigade—4,000 soldiers—as early as December, the Times reports.

A decision now on pulling out more troops would be premature because Iraq is in flux, Petraeus will argue. In a letter to his troops, Petraeus admitted that Iraqi political leaders had not taken advantage of the surge effort to make political headway and the situation “has not worked out as we had hoped.” But he claims US forces have achieved "tactical momentum" against the insurgency.