Odierno: troop reductions must begin by April ‘08.

Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, commanding general of the coalition forces in Baghdad, suggested that the current escalation could last through April 2008. Speaking on CNN’s Late Edition, Odierno said:

I would say, however, though, we all know that the surge of forces was temporary in nature. And we all know that’s going to come to an end and we all understand that. And it’s important that we decide when those forces begin to leave.

We know that the surge of forces will come at least through April at the latest, April of ’08, and then we’ll have to start to reduce. So we will make our judgment based on the fact that we know we cannot maintain the surge of forces and we know that they will start to reduce in April of ’08 at the latest.