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  1. #1
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    Default US Troops Leaving Iraqi Cities


  2. #2
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default

    Seems like the experiment is on to see who is right--those who urge we need to stay to keep things stable and those who say the Iraqis can handle their own internal security now. I hope "Iraqi-ization" does not end up with the same result as the 1973 withdrawal after declaring Vietnamization was a success.

    And before anyone flames, I recognize that the US post-withdrawal support package for Viet Nam was not delivered as planned. What makes one think that things will be any different this time around? America once again seems to have a legislative branch apparently greatly at odds with the idea of supporting agreements made by the executive branch.
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. Sydney J. Harris

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default "Once again?"

    Once?? You're too kind...

  4. #4
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default Not trying to sound too pessimistic, . . .

    . . . how about "yet again" or "as usually happens"?
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. Sydney J. Harris

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    Default Keep your powder dry.

    (from AP article)

    The U.S. is on track to complete its shift out of all Iraqi cities by June 2009. That is one of the milestones in a political-military campaign plan devised in 2007 by Gen. David Petraeus, when he was the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and his political partner in Baghdad, Ambassador Ryan Crocker. The goal also is in a preliminary security pact with the Iraqi government on the future U.S. military presence.
    The timeline here is directly on target with the timeline stated in the leaked draft SOFA (sorta on hold in the adjacent thread). This seems the best confirmation I've seen yet that the SOFA is as reported - a withdrawal agreement (the latest AP story cited in the SOFA thread says that is exactly what it is entitled).

    Now, let us all be clear about this combo (military shift of forces and "SOFA"). It is totally an Executive Branch effort of the Bush Administration - Congress has not been consulted in any meaningful way. So, let us not begin writing revisionist history before there is even ink on the agreement.

    Note: The president has power to enter into a SOFA, without Congress (that type of agreement is a presidential executive agreement; as opposed to a presidentiial-congressional executive agreement); but only as to matters which are solely within the President's powers as CinC.

    Some non-loopy I Law and Con Law types have been kicking this around on the Net. The "SOFA" does raise some valid constitutional issues (the "quote" below is not a direct quote, but my summary of points made in a number of blogs and articles):

    1. Iraqi jurisdiction over US troops and contractors. Contrary to the usual SOFA & adverse to troops and contractors. Challenge based on Congress' Regulate the Armed Forces Clause (the basis for the UCMJ).

    2. Mutual security provisions. Depends on the provisions' exact language - how automatic is the trigger requiring US to employ armed force in support of Iraq - may be completely adverse to what the best interests of the US are in the future. Challenge based on Congress' War Powers Clause (another issue is whether this is within AUMF).

    3. Turnover of US bases & future aid to Iraq. Again depends on provisions' exact language. Challenge based on Congress' Power Over Possessions Clause and Appropriations Clause.
    IMO, these are valid issues.

    Assuming arguendo that the leaked versions are accurate, the provisions dealing with continued US operations in Iraq (Iraqi approvals, joint US-Iraqi command, etc.) may be nuts from a military standpoint.

    My broken crystal ball gave a fleeting vision of we're moving out and Astan here we come - damn thing is broken, so no reliance there.

    Here (SWC), let's try not to inflame this as was done after the withdrawal from Vietnam - we don't need that.

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    Default We'll see what the story is on Monday

    Top Iraq official upbeat over US, British pull-out pacts
    Denis Hiault Fri Nov 14, 1:58 pm ET

    BAGHDAD (AFP) Iraq is likely to approve a military pact with a timetable for the withdrawal of all US troops by 2011 and British troops will leave by the end of next year, Iraq's national security adviser said Friday.

    Muwafaq al-Rubaie told AFP in an interview that the controversial Iraq-US security pact could be passed by Iraq's cabinet as early as this weekend.

    "I honestly believe we have reached now a very good text... And this text will secure the complete, full, irrevocable sovereignty of Iraq," said Rubaie, who is also Baghdad's chief negotiator on the security pact.

    "I believe, I hope, that the council of ministers will pass the new text Sunday and (then) it will be passed on to the parliament."
    ....
    The draft agreement calls for US troops to pull out of Iraqi cities by June 2009 and from the entire country by the end of 2011.
    .....
    Rubaie meanwhile said he expected all British troops would be gone by 2010.

    "By the end of next year there will be no British troops in Iraq. By the end of 2009," Rubaie said, adding that negotiations between London and Baghdad on the pull-out had begun two weeks ago.

    "It will be a much shorter agreement with the UK... It's much shorter and much simpler," Rubaie said, adding that there would be a "dramatic" reduction of British troops by the middle of 2009......
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081114...ritainmilitary

    Iraq: Negotiators agree on US security pact draft
    Aide to Iraqi PM says Iraq, US negotiators agree on draft of pact; 10 killed in bombing
    QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
    AP News
    Nov 15, 2008 09:32 EST

    U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have agreed on a draft of a security pact that would allow American troops to stay in Iraq for three more years after their U.N. mandate expires Dec. 31, a senior aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday.

    The aide said the draft could be put to a Cabinet vote in an emergency meeting Sunday or Monday. Transport Minister Amir Abdul-Jabbar said he had been notified by the Cabinet secretariat that a Cabinet meeting was scheduled for Sunday to vote on the agreement. If adopted by the Cabinet, it would then require parliamentary approval. ....
    ....
    The final step in the process of adopting the agreement would be the ratification of the parliamentary vote by President Jalal Talabani, a Sunni Kurd, and his two vice presidents Adil Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite, and Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni Arab.

    The three met Saturday to review the final version of the agreement, according to Talabani's office.

    The United States last week responded to Iraqi demands for changes in the text, which U.S. officials described as final and said it was up to the Iraqis to push the process further.

    Al-Hashemi, the Sunni vice president, said Saturday that the United States made "additional modifications" to the agreement in response to a request by al-Maliki, according to Talabani's office. .....
    http://wiredispatch.com/news/?id=454926

    Not to be too ethno-centric, but the Iraqis are more adept at marketplace haggling. I suppose the next round of "modifications" will be to satisfy Iraq's parliament before it acts; and another round before Talabani & the 2 VPs approve it.

    Think Ken warned about the Mid-Eastern approach to negotiating somewhere here in the last couple of months.
    Last edited by jmm99; 11-16-2008 at 02:18 AM. Reason: add more recent AP story

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