September 9, 2008

Bush: 8,000 Troops in Iraq Coming Home

Some 8,000 U.S. troops will be returning home from Iraq without replacement during the next several months, U.S. President George Bush said Tuesday.

"Over the next several months, we will bring home about 3,400 combat support forces -- including aviation personnel, explosive ordnance teams, combat and construction engineers, military police, and logistical support forces," Bush said in remarks prepared for delivery to the National Defense University.

A U.S. marine battalion serving in Anbar province would be redeployed in November and an Army combat brigade is scheduled to leave in February 2009, Bush said.

"This amounts to about 8,000 additional American troops returning home without replacement," Bush said. "And if the progress in Iraq continues to hold, (U.S. Army) General (David) Petraeus and our military leaders believe additional reductions will be possible in the first half of 2009."

Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff made the troop reduction recommendations late last week.

"The progress in Iraq is a credit to the valor of American troops and civilians, the valor of Iraqi forces and the valor of our coalition partners," Bush said.