U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has announced troop reductions for U.S. combat forces in Iraq. Mr. Rumsfeld made the announcement Friday in the former Iraqi insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.
He said President Bush has authorized the troop level to fall below the current baseline of 138-thousand. He said the number of combat brigades would fall from 17 to 15 in 2006. U.S. defense officials say about seven-thousand combat troops will be cut. He also said further reductions will also be considered next year, and that the United States and its coaltion partners want to turn over security responsiblities to the Iraqis as soon as possible.