DJ Elliot at the Long War Journal:
The number of US and allied combat brigades deployed in Iraq has been cut in half since the height of the “surge” in the summer of 2007, while the number of Iraqi security forces has nearly doubled during the same period of time.
Here’s the key numbers:
The coalition personnel numbers during the “surge” peaked at just under 180,000 (168,000 US and 12,000 allied) troops. The current reductions in coalition forces only bring the total personnel numbers down to approximately 120,000 in September 2009.
During this same time period, the Iraqi Army doubled in size from 125,000 to 250,000.
He goes on to explain that many of the newest Iraqi forces, plus the majority of those slated to stand up this year, are support personnel, not combat troops. The creation of an Iraqi army able to operate on its own has been an ongoing project that we’ve been watching for years. It’s paying off.
Really, I could excerpt the whole thing. Go read.