De-‘Surged’ and Then Some

Coalition cuts combat brigades by half since peak of US ‘surge’

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.


  1. There’s no question we’re consolidating and FTL (that’s not faster than light, Murdoc…….in this case it’s fixin’ to leave) in my area here. There have been hoards of large transporters (milspec, contractor, and local national) moving everything big under the sun through and into this region recently. More telling…………I just saw what had to be a battalion’s worth of Paladin’s on low boys, being moved out to somewhere, and the Bradleys and Abrams have piled up in large depots, ready for shipment to elsewhere. Combine that with all the arrangments to ship stuff through neighboring countries, and it’s plain we’re getting ready to be smaller here.

  2. Kevin: The “half” reference is to the number of combat brigades, not the number of troops.

    In the article, DJ talks about the continuing requirement for coalition support and logistics elements for the growing Iraqi combat forces. That is why the number of coalition combat brigades is coming down faster than the total number of troops.

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