General Petraeus indicates drawdown in Iraq


U.S. General David Petraeus, who delivers a much-anticipated report on progress in the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq next week, indicated to President Bush a willingness to consider the drawdown of 3,500 to 4,500 U.S. troops by early next year.

Petraeus may also be willing to consider further reductions, based on conditions on the ground, military and administration officials told multiple U.S. news sources.

Officials involved drafting Petraeus’ testimony to Congress for next week added, however, that the general also believes military gains in Iraq are fragile and may suffer from more substantial troop withdrawals.

The BBC, in a new global poll, says roughly two-thirds of people in the world now favor either an immediate or gradual U.S. troop withdrawal, with only 23 percent saying they want the United States to stay in Iraq until it is safe.

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