Joint Chiefs to give own troop cut view - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Joint Chiefs to give own troop cut view

San Salvador_The Pentagon's top generals and admirals will make their own assessment for President Bush on whether to continue pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq in the second half of the year - independent of what Bush's commander in Baghdad recommends, the top U.S. military officer said Friday.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters traveling with him on the last stop of a six-day trip that the Joint Chiefs will take into account a range of issues beyond the security situation in Iraq.

They will consider, for example, the effects of growing strain on troops and their families from multiple tours in Iraq, as well as the outlook for troop requirements in Afghanistan and elsewhere, Mullen said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced at the Pentagon on Thursday that he had asked the Joint Chiefs for their Iraq assessment, to coincide with recommendations from Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, as well as Adm. William J. Fallon, the commander of American forces in the Middle East.

The Joint Chiefs intend to have their consensus view ready for Gates and the president by March or April, Mullen said.

Bush needs to hear the views from a range of senior military officers, Mullen said, on "the risks that are associated with whatever we're going to do next" in Iraq, where about 160,000 U.S. troops are on the ground in a conflict that appears, for the moment, to be leaning in favor of the U.S. and Iraq governments.

Pressed for his own view on whether more troop cuts were likely after this summer, Mullen declined to give one. He stressed that Petraeus was constantly evaluating conditions on the ground in Iraq and that any number of events - positive or negative - could happen in the months ahead that would influence a troop-cut decision.

The current plan, announced last September, is to reduce U.S. forces in Iraq by five brigades, or roughly 30,000 troops by July. The Petraeus, Fallon and Joint Chiefs assessments are to focus on how to proceed after July.

Before Bush accepted Petraeus' recommendation last September, the Joint Chiefs presented their own view. Mullen, who was then a member of the Joint Chiefs as head of the Navy, said Friday that "there were some differences" among the service chiefs last time around, "but we worked them out."

Mullen made his remarks in an interview with three reporters flying with him to San Salvador from Bogota, Colombia, where he had met with top Colombian defense officials to discuss their war against rebel forces.

Robert Burns-115, AP Military Writer © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Crews struggle to keep flames from California neighborhoods

    Crews struggle to keep flames from California neighborhoods

    Tuesday, December 12 2017 3:24 AM EST2017-12-12 08:24:08 GMT
    Tuesday, December 12 2017 8:27 PM EST2017-12-13 01:27:44 GMT

    The fifth largest blaze in state history was threatening thousands of homes as it churned through coastal mountains amid persistently dangerous weather conditions.

    The fifth largest blaze in state history was threatening thousands of homes as it churned through coastal mountains amid persistently dangerous weather conditions.

  • Trump says female senator 'would do anything' for money

    Trump says female senator 'would do anything' for money

    Monday, December 11 2017 10:43 AM EST2017-12-11 15:43:27 GMT
    Tuesday, December 12 2017 8:27 PM EST2017-12-13 01:27:27 GMT

    Three women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment are sharing their stories on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today." Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks told of alleged...

    Three women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment are sharing their stories on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today." Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks told of alleged harassment by Trump spanning decades.

  • Polls close across Alabama as bitter Senate campaign ends

    Polls close across Alabama as bitter Senate campaign ends

    Tuesday, December 12 2017 4:07 AM EST2017-12-12 09:07:39 GMT
    Tuesday, December 12 2017 8:27 PM EST2017-12-13 01:27:18 GMT

    An internationally watched Senate election is down to voters in Alabama who will choose between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.

    An internationally watched Senate election is down to voters in Alabama who will choose between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.

Powered by Frankly