The spin at the time was that this was part of a plan to get all the troops home by the end of this year.
On Monday the Telegraph suggested that military planners were against the cut. Yesterday, the Ministry of Defence indicated that it might not happen. Today, with the Defence Secretary quietly visiting Iraq and the budget dominating the news, the BBC was told that it probably wouldn't happen.
Will the media be more sceptical of such claims next time? As David McKie said (below):
newspapers print these speculative stories, partly because they believe there's a genuine chance it might happen, but partly because if the story proves to be wrong that's unlikely to be remembered for long.