November 5th, 2008
05:55 PM ET
13 years ago

Brigade's exit may help Obama’s Iraq plan


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Gen. David Petraeus took Sen. Barack Obama on an aerial tour of Baghdad in July when Obama visited the country."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. military will reduce the number of troops in Iraq this month as violence has dropped and Iraqi security forces have shown vast improvements, senior military officials told CNN Wednesday.

The military said it is sending home two brigades and not replacing one of them this month, dropping the number of brigades in Iraq from 15 to 14. A brigade has about 3,000 troops.

There are currently about 152,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

The 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division was scheduled to leave Iraq in February 2009, but a late November departure will cut short by two months its 15-month tour.

The second unit, the 3rd Brigade of the 101st, is scheduled to leave this month and will not be replaced, according to Pentagon officials.

Army officials said that several other units will be returning early because of positive security situations on the ground in Iraq. However, current plans are to eventually replace those units, they said.

Early departures and not replacing forces could be the start of a trend that could allow President-elect Barack Obama to fulfill his campaign pledge to reduce the number of combat brigades in Iraq by roughly one a month in his first 16 months in office.

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Symore, IL

    Good, keep em coming.

    November 5, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  2. Barbara in NC


    November 5, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. Lawrence in Denver

    Hopefully this will help Obama's Iraq strategy.

    And for 'Truth Hurts' – you ever have anything positive to say about Barack Obama. You are so negative and refuse to give him a chance. You question what he is doing about the economy and state Obama is no where to be found. News flash, Obama is the president-elect and can not start his duties until 01.02.2009.

    How about you sit down, shut up, and listen.

    ~Lawrence in Denver

    November 5, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. Support Our Troops

    When all is said and done, please allow these men and women to come home with their dignity and self respect intact.

    November 5, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  5. Indepentant and proud "I didn't vote for Obama"

    I knew this was coming....He couldn't promise everything but yet he still did and you all believed him and now as I told everyone that I knew he would say this so he can get back again in four years and here it is:

    "Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there," Obama said in Grant Park

    November 5, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. kiran

    Sounds like a plan! Slow and steady exit.

    November 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  7. CanIcallyouJoe

    Please! Pull out of Iraq as soon as possible!
    We're there illegally, and the longer we stay the more lives we endanger! Not only American lives!!

    November 5, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. California girl

    I think this is great news. This war was one that never should have come, and now we can see the end.

    November 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. annie - never again a dem.

    Sorry but obaama had nothing to do with us winning in Iraq. Remember he voted against the surge! I keep forgetting, it is obama and he will take credit for anything GOOD and lie about anything BAD.

    November 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    Good news!

    November 5, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. Lawrence in Denver

    To 'annie – never again a dem'

    Obama never said he had anything to do with us winning in Iraq. As a matter of fact he argued that you can not win a war we had no business starting in the first place. He voted against the surge in Iraq because intelligence stated otherwise....that we needed our military resources freed up.

    First the war in Iraq was because of WMD. Since there was no WMD then to oust Suddam Hussein. Then it was due to all the sectarian violence. Then we were there because of the Shiites and Sunnis conflict.

    We caused all of this. So, are we now winning a war with, ourselves? Let the Iraqi government take care of themselves!

    We shouldn't have needed a surge because, like Obama insisted, we should have never been there in the 1st place!

    ~Lawrence in Denver

    November 5, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. Jillian, ME

    Obama can take credit for the fact that he wanted to bring the soldiers out and now they're bringing the soldiers out. The Bush Administration went back on their word to use the surge levels "briefly". That didn't happen. They were supposed to reduce the troop size months ago. More lies from Bush. So now they're doing what Obama was saying, which was to reduce the troops.

    Bush is an idiot and so is anyone who thinks Bush knows what he's doing. He doesn't, and that's why he will be the worst of the worst presidents. No one disputes that.

    November 5, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    As long as the Iraq government can keep our forces there to do the work, thats less of their moneys they have to spend on payroll for their forces. It's time to let them manage their own security. If they fail, after all the training and "helping" our soldiers have done, if their police and military aren't ready by now they never will be.. Some times you just have to let them learn how to paddle the canoe on their own.


    November 5, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  14. E

    The military has to do this.....we can just have all troops leave at once?! What signal would that leave?

    November 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I personally don't care when, where or how troops began to withdrawal, just cut through the explanations and bring our troops home(period).

    November 5, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  16. Texas Teacher

    Yes, it is time to get out of that war... there is NO win or lose there...just endless war! We, the People, are sick of seeing our young men and women (not to mention the Iraqis who have died as well) die needlessly, and our tax money being wasted on what was an absurd reason for going to war!

    Bin Laden is still out there, and Bush and McCain are still wanting to keep fighting. The only thing that is making Bush start to recall troops is the very obvious reason that AMERICANS are sick and tired of HIS war!

    November 5, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  17. AJ

    To Annie never again a dem:

    With your attitude, I'm glad you are not a dem anymore. Makes the dems purer.

    November 5, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  18. Ex-Republican for Obama

    E November 5th, 2008 7:55 pm ET

    The military has to do this…..we can just have all troops leave at once?! What signal would that leave?
    Let's see:
    No WMD's, Saddam Hussein is dead, the country itself wants us ou, the world wants us out, lets not forget, "The surge worked, we won", and Osama Bin Laden is roaming free and having a grand ole time somewhere else where we seemed to have just up and cowardly retreated most of our troops from.

    So what signal would it leave? Perhaps that we're going to finally go back after the REAL man who blew up our buildings! Perhaps that we aren't an imperialistic country that wages illegal wars. Perhaps that we are no longer fighting a war, but spending money on policing a foreign country when our own nation could be using that money to better police itself. Perhaps that we don't care if we walk in and blow you up, if you deserve it, we'll do it and YOU can rebuild your country when we're done dropping it to the ground.

    So why don't you tell us all...what will staying there do for us? I mean, it's done so much so far right? We, uhhh, well, didn't do anything other then shoot at invisible WMD's and invade a sovereign nation and watch Bin Laden films that he's been sending us from his vacations around the hills of a nation we seem to have LEFT!


    November 5, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  19. Top Dawg

    It is important to note that the overall number of deployed troops will stay about the same as the effort in Afghanistan will ramp up next Summer under current military planning.

    November 5, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. linda from South Dakota

    we need to get out and tay out, we have no business there,, we cant fix everyones problems,, we have enough of our own,,,, the troops will come home,, thank god,, and thank god our foriegn friends are workin with us,,,,,, lets hope they continue to,,,,, god bless america

    November 5, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  21. WIlly Brown

    Obama will be th ebiggets mistake in the Wh next to Jimmy Carter who also screwed up the military like Bill Clinton and Johnson did.

    November 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  22. tim

    All of this is moot come Dec 31 when the UN Charter allowing us to be there ends. I can't believe any person in America would want our troops in Iraq under command of the Iraqi gov't. which is what it will take in order for Bush to get an extension.

    November 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. Tilias, FL

    God bless America, I hope we will have more good news coming for the next 4 years

    November 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  24. Mike from up north

    annie – never again a dem
    "Remember he voted against the surge!" And temember he voted against the war in Iraq ( a war that had nothing to do with 9/11 but sold that way for obvious reasons).

    Think about that, seriously...think about it.

    November 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. No Hillary = No Obama

    People are going to very surpised when Obama keeps the war in Iraq going and going and going. Wait and see.

    November 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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