Pentagon says US reducing troop total in Pakistan

AP News
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Posted: May 25, 2011 6:58 PM
Pentagon says US reducing troop total in Pakistan

The U.S. is reducing the number of its military personnel in Pakistan at that country's request following the killing of Osama bin Laden, according to the Pentagon.

A Pentagon spokesman, Marine Col. David Lapan, said Wednesday that there are more than 200 U.S. military personnel in Pakistan, but he provided no details on how many had been withdrawn since Pakistan made its request.

"We were recently (within past two weeks) notified in writing that the government of Pakistan wished for the U.S. to reduce its footprint in Pakistan," Lapan said. "Accordingly, we have begun those reductions."

Lapan later said the personnel who have been pulled out were troops who had been training Pakistani forces in counterinsurgency skills. He did not say whether Pakistan had set a specific new limit on the U.S. numbers.

The U.S. also has military personnel assigned to the Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan, based in Islamabad. Lapan said the total exceeds 200, but he was not more specific. He said that it has fluctuated between 200 and 300 over time, depending on the training program being executed.