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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Iraq Prime Minister: US To Leave On Schedule

In some big news out of Bahgdad, "Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ruled out the presence of any U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of 2011, saying his new government and the country's security forces were capable of confronting any remaining threats to Iraq's security, sovereignty and unity."

He further clarified that the last troops will leave by the appointed time at the end of 2011, and that,

"This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alteration. It is sealed."

So much for making good on that investment in the huge palace like US embassy recently built in Iraq.

It had been previously speculated that Obama realistically pulling out by 2012 was rather unlikely, that Iraq was to be a US positioning point for it's interventionist foreign policy.

Now, the agreement will have to go through, or Obama will face some serious conflict from Prime Minister al-Maliki and the Iraqi Parliament, "Mr. Maliki said the only way for any of the remaining 50,000 or so American soldiers to stay beyond 2011 would be for the two nations to negotiate—with the approval of Iraq's Parliament—a new Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA, similar to the one concluded in 2008.
That deal took a year of protracted negotiations in the face of vehement opposition from many among Mr. Maliki's own Shiite constituency, and no repeat is expected."

Indeed, if the United States had other plans for Iraq, they'll have some trouble implementing them diplomatically.

Eric Sharp,
Regular Columnist, THL
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