Petraeus Sees Withdrawal to 'Pre-Surge Levels'

Top US commander says goals are being met
By Josie Garthwaite,  Newser User
Posted Sep 10, 2007 3:53 PM CDT
Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is shown at Al-Asad Air Base in Anbar province, Iraq, in this Sept. 3, 2007, file photo. Petraeus is to appear before Congress, Monday, Sept. 10, 2007,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – David Petraeus told Congress today that the objectives of the troop surge “are in large measure being met” and said US forces could drop “to pre-surge levels” by mid-July. The top American commander in Iraq said he has recommended that force reductions begin later this month, with redeployments continuing through next year, the Washington Post reports.

In his eagerly awaited progress report, Petraeus said the drawdown can be accomplished "without jeopardizing security gains we fought so hard to achieve" and pointed to a steep drop in deaths attributed to what he called "ethno-sectarian violence." Ambassador Ryan Crocker echoed Petraeus' message and said he sees political progress, but "the slope of that line is not steep."