Of course Iraq may have something to say about this. There is supposed to be a refendum this summer on the status of forces agreement as I recall. Strange there is no word about this in the press. Also, the Iraq election is being delayed and this will cause problems with even the present rate of pullout. Adding to the turmoil is the blowback from the awakening councils some of whom are now in conflict with the Shiite government. There may very well be a renewed Sunni insurgency. Finally there is still conflict in the Kurdish border regions between Arabs and Kurds both vying for control of certain areas rich in oil.
- News From Antiwar.com - http://news.antiwar.com -
Pentagon: US Ready to Keep Troops in Iraq For Another 10 Years
Posted By Jason Ditz On May 26, 2009
While US officials have continued to insist that the timetable for removing troops from Iraq remains in place, a growing trend of violence and a delay to Iraq’s national parliamentary elections has led to considerable speculation that the US won’t ultimately abide by the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) deadline to have troops out of the nation by the end of 2011.
That speculation seemed well-founded today, when Army Chief of Staff General George Casey said that the world “remains dangerous and unpredictable” and that his planning envisions leaving combat troops in Iraq for another decade “to fight extremism and terrorism.”
Gen. Casey’s planning was focused on troop rotations, and he emphasized that he wasn’t responsible for making decisions about policy, but that he believed the US would need to be ready for “sustained” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which he saw a similar timeline.
During the campaign President Obama promised to have all troops out of Iraq within 16 months, though he abandoned that policy just days after taking office. His current policy is to declare an end to “combat” in August 2010, but to keep troops in the nation engaged in combat operations for an indefinite period past that. He has insisted that he still intends to abide by the SOFA deadline, however.
Copyright © 2009 News From Antiwar.com. All rights reserved.