Leaving Iraq by 2011

by Ryan on November 16, 2008

in International Relations,The Iraq Front,War on Terror

An agreement was reached in committee yesterday which spells out a timetable for US withdrawal from Iraq.  The draft will be voted on tomorrow in a special session of the Iraqi Parliament.  A new Status of Forces Agreement is necessary since our UN mandate to be in Iraq expires by the end of the year (some people still call it an “illegal” war for some reason even when the Iraqi Parliament and the UN have set rules for us being there). 

Anyway, the dates for withdrawal according to this committee’s draft would be:

A.  June 30, 2009: the date when all US troops are withdrawn from the cities and towns.

B.  December 31, 2011: the date for a complete withdrawal of US troops from the country.

I’ve never liked specific dates for withdrawal.  We’re basically telling the bad guys a date when they can hike up their terror again — why blow anything up in Baghdad until July 1, 2009 if you’ll have to face US power before then?  Yet, things are a lot better than they were.  A constant problem the Maliki government has had is overestimating the strength of the Iraqi Security Force.  I fear this may be another example of that, but it is their country.  I just hope they’re right – our troops can come home and hopefully we don’t need to go back in ten years to stabilize the country again.

Another issue I have is this– look at the nations where the US has permanent bases:  Japan, Germany, soon to be Poland, Qatar, Kuwait, etc.  Notice anything?  They are all economically prosperous (Poland’s on the way)!  If Iraq had any brains, they’d let us hang around Al Asad Airbase in Anbar, stimulate the local and national economy like we do elsewhere we have bases, and make money off us! 

As numerous experts have said: never underestimate the Arab propensity to screw things up.  I hope Iraq’s story is a different one.

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Talking Points for 17 November « BBC World Have Your Say
November 17, 2008 at 5:16 am

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