Commanders in Iraq have decided to begin the draw down of US forces in volatile Diyala province, marking a turning point in the US military mission.Two clues tell you what's really going on here:
Instead of replacing the third Brigade of the first Cavalry Division soldiers from another brigade in Salahuddin province will expand into Diyala.
In this way, the number of US Army ground combat brigades in Iraq will fall from 20 to 19.
It will also mark the start of what President George W Bush has billed as a shift in the American military mission.
The December move, not yet announced by the Pentagon, was described by Col Stephen Twitty, commander of the fourth Brigade, first Cavalry, in a telephonic interview.
1) The area, Diyala, is hardly what one might term "settled", the way that Bush has touted the Anbar province as "settled".
2) Rather than have Iraqi forces stand up, we're merely spreading out our remaining forces to secure what is a hotly contested region.
Meaning, basically, we're throwing our troops DEEPER into harm's way.
Thanks a lot, jackass!