Administration officials expect Gen. David Petraeus to tell Congress next month that the Iraqi army is ready to assume control in some stabilized areas of the country, allowing for a re-positioning of US troops, though not necessarily a reduction in their numbers, according to Julian Barnes and Peter Spiegel of the LA Times.
The expected recommendation would authorize U.S. commanders to withdraw troops from places that have become less violent and turn over security responsibilities to Iraqi forces.
But it does not necessarily follow that Petraeus would call for reducing the overall number of troops in the country. Instead, he could move them to another hot spot, or use them to create a reserve force to counter any rise in violence.
"That is the form of the recommendation we are anticipating him to come back with," a senior administration official said. But referring to the redeployment options, the official added, "I just don't know which of those categories he is going to be in."