We'll see if the General's proposition holds up, and it should be noted that more troops than expected ended up in Iraq (not much). So the cuts might be to just bring the level of troops down to the required surge level.
The top American commander in Iraq said Wednesday he was preparing recommendations on troop cuts before he returns to Washington next month for a report to Congress, and believes the U.S. footprint in Iraq will have to be "a good bit smaller" by next summer.
But he cautioned against a quick or significant U.S. withdrawal that could surrender "the gains we have fought so hard to achieve."
The general issued his comments to a small group of reporters who accompanied him to the headquarters of a group of former Sunni insurgents who are now working with American and Iraqi forces against al-Qaida in western Baghdad's Amariyah neighborhood.
Though this may just be a drawback to the intended surge levels ... it appears to be a part of the long term strategy after the surge's success.
"We know that the surge has to come to an end, there's no question about that. I think everyone understands that by about a year or so from now we've got to be a good bit smaller than we are right now.
"The question is how do you do that ... so that you can retain the gains we have fought so hard to achieve and so you can keep going. Again we are not at all satisfied where we are right now. We have made some progress but again there's still a lot of hard work to be done against the different extremist elements that do threaten the new Iraq."