America’s senior soldier in Iraq is preparing to recommend cutting US forces there, when he reports to Congress next week. General David Petraeus said there is only so much his troops can do in Iraq. He said the surge has run its course. There are limits to what the military can provide, so his recommendations have to be informed by, not driven by, but they have to be informed by the strain we have put on the military services.
The General declined to be specific about his recommendations, but agreed that troop cuts could start around March. He is thought to have given his views to President Bush during his surprise visit to Iraq on Monday. The General admitted Iraq was still very dangerous, but felt his forces had made progress against al-Qaeda.