First, we had the “surge.” Now we have “the pause“:

That pause in drawdowns would begin in July, after five combat brigades ordered to Iraq last year are fully withdrawn. At that point, about 140,000 American troops are projected to be in Iraq, down from a high of more than 160,000 late last year, but still about 8,000 more than were in place at the beginning of 2007.

The administration official described the emerging American plan as “a pause with the intent to continue the drawdown,” and said the aim was simply to give General Petraeus enough time to assess the situation on the ground after the current round of reductions is complete.