3,000?

by Jonah Goldberg

Fox is reporting that the Obama administration is pushing to have a mere 3,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, considerably less than what the Pentagon wants.

The Obama administration has decided to drop the number of U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of the year down to 3,000, marking a major downgrade in force strength, multiple sources familiar with the inner workings and decisions on U.S. troop movements in Iraq told Fox News.

Senior commanders are said to be livid at the decision, which has already been signed off by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.The generals on the ground had requested that the number of troops remaining in Iraq at the end of the year reach about 27,000. But, there was major pushback about “the cost and the political optics” of that decision that the number was then reduced to 10,000.

Commanders said they could possibly make that work “in extremis,” in other words, meaning  they would be pushing it to make that number work security-wise and manpower-wise.

Now, sources confirm that the administration has pushed the Pentagon to cut the number even lower, and commanders are concerned for the safety of the U.S. troops who would remain there.

“We can’t secure everybody with only 3,000 on the ground nor can we do what we need to with the Iraqis,” one source said.