This link from Madtom says Colonel Stephen W. Davis, the Commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team - 2 currently operating in western Iraq and engaged in Operation Steel Curtain in the border town of Husaybah, claims:
"Husaybah has been cleared and secured. Coalition forces are now conducting combat patrols. Construction is underway for basing of Iraqi and U.S. troops to maintain a permanent presence in the city, and provide security. We had a real good plan, but the execution was even better. I am pleased with the results of Operation Steel Curtain."
As I wrote back in May, Husaybah has been a thorn in the military's side since the beginning of the occupation. Husaybah is the entry point to the Ramadi/Fallujah pipeline that supplies the foreign insurgency. Ramadi is hardly secure and Fallujah, despite being leveled and depopulated back in November, is still not secure, so news of Husaybah being under control is just slightly questionable.
According to AP: "Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi said Friday that U.S. troops could begin leaving in significant numbers sometime next year." Wasn't this guy just is DC getting feted by all his neocon freinds? Doesn't this statement kind of undermine Bush's insistence that timelines help the insurgency? Does this have anything to do with conversations he's had with top officials in the administration? Very odd.
John Kerry called for the pull out of 20,000 troops after the Dec. 15th elections, but the pentagon said they'd go back to their "baseline" of 135,000, down from the current 160,000, or so, so I don't see that Kerry's arimatic adds up, what difference would his plan make?
John McCain, on the other hand, is calling for 10,000 extra troops to get a hold of the situation over there, but will 10,000 more cause things to change one way or the other?
Tony B-liar says British troops might pull by the end of next year, which dovetails with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani saying 8,500 British soldiers could be gone by the end of 2006. "8,500 British soldiers could be gone by the end of 2006," B-liar says, if, "the job is done.
Has he passed this by W.? This assumes of course, B-liar is still PM when 2006 come around.