Archive for the ‘Pullout’ Category

Pact, Approved in Iraq, Sets Time for U.S. Pullout

November 17, 2008

Iraq’s cabinet on Sunday overwhelmingly approved a proposed security agreement that calls for a full withdrawal of American forces from the country by the end of 2011. The cabinet’s decision brings a final date for the departure of American troops a significant step closer after more than five and a half years of war.

By Campbell Robertson and Stephen Farrell 
The New York Times

The proposed pact must still be approved by Iraq’s Parliament, in a vote scheduled to take place in a week. But leaders of some of the largest parliamentary blocs expressed confidence that with the backing of most Shiites and Kurds they had enough support to ensure its approval.

Twenty-seven of the 28 cabinet ministers who were present at the two-and-a-half-hour session voted in favor of the pact. Nine ministers were absent. The nearly unanimous vote was a victory for the dominant Shiite party and its Kurdish partners. Widespread Sunni opposition could doom the proposed pact even if it has the votes to pass, as it would call into question whether there was a true national consensus, which Shiite leaders consider essential.

US soldiers secure the area along with Iraqi troops following ...
US soldiers secure the area along with Iraqi troops following a roadside bomb in the northern city of Mosul, some 370 kms from Baghdad. The White House on Sunday welcomed the approval by Iraq’s cabinet of a military pact that requires the withdrawal of all US troops by the end of 2011.(AFP/Ali al-Saadi)

The proposed agreement, which took nearly a year to negotiate with the United States, not only sets a date for American troop withdrawal, but puts new restrictions on American combat operations in Iraq starting Jan. 1 and requires an American military pullback from urban areas by June 30. Those hard dates reflect a significant concession by the departing Bush administration, which had been publicly averse to timetables.

Iraq also obtained a significant degree of jurisdiction in some cases over serious crimes committed by Americans who are off duty and not on bases.

In Washington, the White House welcomed the vote as “an important and positive step” and attributed the agreement itself to security improvements in the past year.

Throughout the negotiations, the Shiite parties and the prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, under pressure from forces both within and outside the country, had been trying to strike a balance in forging a viable agreement with the Americans that would guarantee Iraq’s security and that would still stand firm against what many, including neighboring Iran, consider a hostile force

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BAGHDAD – Iraq’s Cabinet overwhelmingly approved a security pact with the United States on Sunday, ending prolonged negotiations to allow American forces to remain for three more years in the country they first occupied in 2003.

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Iraqi FM against quick US troop pullout

March 18, 2008
By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD – Iraq’s foreign minister said Tuesday the risks of civil war have been averted after five years of “tears and blood.” But he warned an abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops would wipe away the security gains and other achievements and have disastrous consequences.

Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari gestures during an interview ...
Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari gestures during an interview with the Associated Press in Baghdad, Tuesday, March 18, 2008. Zebari said Tuesday he believes his country has averted a civil war after five years of ‘tears and blood’ but warned an abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops would be ‘disastrous.’
(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed )

With the war entering its sixth year, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari acknowledged mistakes by all sides. But he insisted that Iraqis have made remarkable progress despite the violence that has killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and nearly 4,000 U.S. troops.

Zebari, a Kurd who spent years opposing Saddam Hussein in exile, said the Iraqis had cautioned that overthrowing the dictator would be “the easiest part” but “the day after would be far more difficult unless there was some planning, some preparation … and some real participation by the Iraqi leaders.”

“Mistakes were made by all, by the American military, by the British, by the coalition, by us, but this is water under the bridge now,” he told The Associated Press in an interview in an ornate reception room at the Foreign Ministry building in central Baghdad.

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Petraeus unites GOP on pullout

September 13, 2007

By S.A. Miller
The Washington Times
September 13, 2007

Senate Republicans, bolstered by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus’ war report this week, are closing ranks and say Democrats will continue to fall far shy of the votes needed to force a pullout from Iraq.

Republicans facing intense antiwar pressure in home states, such as Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and the party’s war critics, including Sens. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, say the general’s congressional testimony helped persuade them not to switch their votes.

“I’m supportive of a reasonable plan which they offered,” Mr. Lugar said on PBS’ “NewsHour” after Gen. Petraeus, U.S. commander in Iraq, called for withdrawing about 30,000 troops by July.

President Bush, in a prime-time address tonight, is expected to endorse the general’s plan to return to the pre-surge force strength of 130,000 troops by July.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who failed repeatedly to muster enough votes to compel the president to accept a pullout plan, yesterday said he will try again next week with measures to force significantly larger troop reductions.

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U.S. Envoy Offers Grim Prediction on Iraq Pullout

July 10, 2007

BAGHDAD, July 9 — As the Senate prepares to begin a new debate this week on proposals for a withdrawal from Iraq, the United States ambassador and the Iraqi foreign minister are warning that the departure of American troops could lead to sharply increased violence, the deaths of thousands and a regional conflict that could draw in Iraq’s neighbors.

Two months before a pivotal assessment of progress in the war that he and the overall American military commander in Iraq are to make to the White House and Congress in September, Ryan C. Crocker, the ambassador, laid out a grim forecast of what could happen if the policy debate in Washington led to a significant pullback or even withdrawal of American forces, perhaps to bases outside the major cities.

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