U.S. and British media say Washington and London are considering
pulling some troops out of Iraq next year, in part to strengthen forces
fighting an increasingly deadly war in Afghanistan.
York Times newspaper reports Sunday that by the time U.S.
President George Bush leaves office in late January 2009, as many as
three of the 15 U.S. combat brigades in Iraq could be withdrawn, or at
least be scheduled to withdraw.
The newspaper quotes Bush
administration and military officials who say combat forces may start
to withdraw from Iraq as early as September.
head of Britain's armed forces told the British Broadcasting
Corporation today that Britain plans to withdraw a couple thousand
troops from Iraq next year.
Air Chief Marshal Jock Stirrup
said Britain's involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan has
over-stretched the army and its resources.
He said the army needs to get back down to a more sustainable operational tempo to ease the strain.
officials say violence has declined significantly in Iraq since
President Bush sent additional troops to the country last year. But in
Afghanistan, attacks by Taliban militants have increased.
During May and June, more foreign troops died in Afghanistan than in Iraq.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.