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.