Gates no longer ‘hopes’ to get down to 100,000 troops in Iraq by 2009.

Last September, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that it was his “hope” that there would be “about 100,000” U.S troops in Iraq by the time the next president takes office. During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today Gates said — with somewhat of a smirk — that hoping is “one of the benefits of being Secretary of Defense.” Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) said to Gates, “talking about hope…you hoped that we could get down to 100,000 troops in Iraq by January of ’09. Do you still have that hope?” “No, sir,” Gates replied. Watch it: