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The Petraeus Report

September 10, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The time has come. General David Petraeus is about to deliver his much-anticipated report on the progress of the war in Iraq in a joint hearing of the House Armed Services Committee and the House International Relations Committee. Tune in online via C-SPAN on the street is that if you miss it now, you won’t be able to read it later. No official transcript of the report is expected to be made available.

UPDATE (1:22): You have to tune into this. If you haven’t yet, you’ve already missed Ike Skelton (D-MO) accidentally calling war protesters “assholes” into a live microphone. The hearing is currently being delayed due to some technical difficulties, so you’ve got a couple of minutes. Don’t miss it.

UPDATE (2:30): Petraeus is done with his portion of the hearing and the microphone has been passed off to Ryan Crocker, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. Here’s the AP’s initial report on the Petreaus testimony:

>Gen. David Petraeus said Monday he has recommended to President Bush that the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq begin this month with the departure of a California-based Marine unit.
>
>The departure of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, from Camp Pendleton, Calif., would be followed in December by the redeployment of an unspecified Army brigade, which would number about 3,500 to 4,000 soldiers, Petraeus told the House Foreign Affairs and House Armed Services committees.
>
>By July 2008 all the extra 30,000 troops sent to Iraq as part of Bush’s revised war strategy would be withdrawn, Petraeus said. The combat portion of that force includes five Army brigades, two Marine infantry battalions and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The buildup also included about 8,000 support troops.
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>Thus by July 2008 the U.S. troop total would be about 130,000, which was where it stood before Bush began his buildup in January.

And here’s a PDF of the PowerPoint that Petraeus put together to accompany his testimony. Of particular interest is the final slide, which portrays the General’s recommendations. When viewing that slide be sure to take note off all the question marks and that the timeline exists in name only, literally.

UPDATE 3: The Politico’s The Crypt blog has been following this thing closely all day. Their coverage is not to be missed.

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