Petraeus: More Troop Withdrawals Possible In Fall

More American troops may come home from Iraq this fall, but it's too early to predict how many soldiers will be redeployed and when exactly that would happen, Army Gen. David Petraeus told a Senate panel Thursday morning.

Petraeus, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to be commander for the U.S. Central Command, told committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), that if conditions allow it, he will be able to recommend modest troop withdrawals in the fall. But Petraeus made it clear that it might only be one brigade combat team, which is between 2,000 and 4,000 soldiers.

"I will be able to make a recommendation for further reduction at that time," Petraeus said.

Petraeus, who has been in charge of U.S. forces in Iraq, has been nominated to run the entire command for the Middle East region. His replacement will be Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno. Both the nominations are expected to clear the Armed Services Committee easily, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said Democrats won't get in the way of these nominations.

This Petraeus testimony is much more toned down that the high level, hyped up hearing last September, which were carried live on several cable networks and garnered much more media attention.