Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld today rejected calls to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, saying that would be a “mistake” because it would send a “lifeline to terrorists."
– Washington Post, June 23, 2005
Pentagon officials have provided little detail in discussing the possible withdrawal of forces from Iraq. The most specific estimate has come from Lt. Gen. John Vines, who runs day-to-day military operations in Iraq. He said in June that a reduction of “four or five brigades” — perhaps 20,000 troops out of the current 135,000 — was possible sometime next year.
– AP, July 27, 2005