Tag Archives: withdrawal

Is The Iraq Exit Date Clear?

General Raymond Odierno, top military leader in Iraq, refused to offer a certain date which would mark the end of an American presence in the city of Mosul. Odierno said US forces were in the midst of a neighborhood-by-neighborhood sweep of Mosul in order to have the city safe to hand over on June 30th to Iraqi troops. “We expect that to end here within about 30-45 days, and then there will be a decision to be made.” He hopes the operations to end terrorism in the city will be completed before the deadline.

The problem is suicide bombings continue and it becomes increasingly clear the optimistic Bush statements concerning “success of the surge” were hyperbole and not close to reality. The Iraq army is far from being an effective fighting force.

Wiggling Out Of Iraq

Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, admitted the time table for withdrawing US troops from Iraq is not written in stone and has some flexibility. He indicated President Obama would be happy if the vast majority of American troops were out of Iraq within his sixteen months goal, and would not be that upset if a few thousand still remained. “It there wiggle room,” he posed to reporters, and answered: s”yes. Is there a lot of wiggle room? No.” He also told the media ending the ban on gays in the service was on the agenda of his committee and it would be among the initial issues to pursue.

There are over 300 military bases in Iraq. Before leaving, American forces must ensure each of these bases has been made environmentally secure as well as cleared of all mines in order to prevent problems for the citizens of Iraq. We can not just leave without respecting environmental needs of the region and its people. This may require more time than originally planned.

Yanks, Go Home, Say Iraqis

The Iraq government has made clear it wants American troops out of its country no later than 2011. Failure on the part of Iraq to reach an agreement with the United States might result in suspension of military activities on the part of US military forces. Prime Minister Maliki apparently wants removal of any mention of a possible extension of US troops “fearing that the existing clause might be misinterpreted or could bear different interpretation.” The Iraqis also want jurisdiction over the behavior of American troops which will not be accepted by the American government. Iraqis want the right to determine which military operations can take place.

There is no indication the Bush administration will back down from its stand on maintaining jurisdiction over US troops, except when a solider is on a personal visit to an Iraqi area. The real question is what would happen if the United States decides to suspend all military operations.