Monday, October 22, 2007

Iraq President Expects Reduction in U.S. Troops

In an interview with French journalist Georges Malbrunot [le Figaro], Iraq's President Jalal Talabani says he expects a 100,000 U.S. troop reduction in Iraq by next year.

When will Iraq be ready to ensure its own security, in order to permit the US troops' departure?

By the end of 2008, if we receive the weapons that we have requested from various countries, we will be able to defend Iraq. We have concluded an agreement with China for the supply of light weapons. If the violence continues to diminish, by the end of 2008 we will be able to guarantee the security of all Iraq's provinces. Next year the Americans will be able to withdraw 100,000 of their men. And in five years' time I predict that there will be only 10,000-20,000 US soldiers left in Iraq. Our principal leaders have decided to maintain prolonged strategic relations with the United States.

Related: At, links to stories about France's "New Hawks"