About 800 Marines with the 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines will not be replaced when they leave Anbar province next week, Marine Corps officials said Monday.
The move comes as the number of U.S. troops in western Iraq is expected to drop to 26,000 by the first week of December, said Maj. Gen. Martin Post, deputy commanding general of U.S. troops in western Iraq. That’s down from 34,000 in February.
It seems like just yesterday that Anbar was “lost” and the only remaining option was to negotiate with the militants and terrorists and arrange for a withdrawal. We’re slowly withdrawing, all right.
Unlike other U.S. commanders, Post would not characterize recent security gains as fragile.
At this point, I’m almost worried that too many of these “things are going great in Iraq” stories are going to lead to a big shock when something bad happens. Or that too much good news will lead to a too-quick drawdown of US forces and overly-optimistic long term agreements with the Iraqi government.
Regardless, I’m certainly happy for the troops coming home and for the troops not going over to take their place.