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Bush to cut troop numbers in Iraq by 8,000

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Bush to cut troop numbers in Iraq by 8,000


US President George W. Bush is expected to announce he is going to cut troop numbers in Iraq by only 8,000 before leaving office in January. That would still leave some 138,000 soldiers in Iraq.
Plans also include a reshuffle of troops from Iraq to neighbouring Afghanistan, where attacks by Islamist militants have soared.
In the speech at the National Defence University in Washington later, Bush will say that a dramatic drop in violence in the country allows the Pentagon to bring forces home.
But any large-scale term withdrawal of US troops would be left up to Bush’s successor – either Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama.
Obama has promised to pull out combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office, while McCain refuses to set any timeline for withdrawal.
Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki indicated he hoped to end the presence of foreign combat troops by 2011.

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