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Army General Says US Troop Reductions in Iraq Likely for 2006

The U.S. Army's second highest ranking general says the number of American troops in Iraq will likely be reduced within one year.

General Richard Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff, told reporters in Washington Thursday that top combat commanders are evaluating a smaller U.S. presence, and a decision could be made next month.

The New York Times reports that senior military officials estimate American troop levels could fall to 105,000 by early 2006.

The standing U.S. force of 138,000 troops was increased during the recent Iraqi national elections, but the Pentagon has said it would return to that number by the end of this month.

The Bush administration says U.S. troop reduction depends on the quality and speed of training Iraqi forces.

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