Posts Tagged ‘combat operations’

Gen. Odierno: US May Ignore Iraq Deadline Because of al-Qaeda

April 10, 2009

Missing June Deadline Likely a Further Setback to Obama ‘Withdrawal’ Plan, April 9, 2009

In yet another sign that the Obama Administration’s “pullout” timeline for Iraq is not set in stone, General Ray Odierno told The Times today that US combat troops may remain in Iraq’s cities beyond the June 30 deadline mandated by the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). He pointed to increased trouble from al-Qaeda as the justification.

From some of its earliest leaked drafts the SOFA mandated that all US troops would be out of cities by the end of June, 2009. Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin has previously said he thought the deadline was unlikely to be met, but this appears to be the first time the top commander in Iraq has publicly acknowledged that things are not going according to schedule.

In February, the Obama Administration revealed its new drawdown strategy, which planned to declare an official end to combat operations in August of 2010 (though up to 50,000 troops would remain, and continue to engage in combat). That already dramatically scaled back timeline, however, seems to have been predicated on a best-case scenario from a military perspective, and a delay in June could well mean a deal in August.

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compiled by Jason Ditz [email the author]

Obama Praises ‘Extraordinary Achievement’ of Iraq War

April 8, 2009

President Tells Iraqis to Take Responsibility,

Posted April 7, 2009

President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Iraq today, praising what he termed the “extraordinary achievement” of American troops in the nation. The visit came just hours after a spate of bombings across Baghdad killed 37 Iraqis and wounded over a hundred others.

During the visit, the president pressured the Iraqi government to “take responsibility for their country,” adding that the United States has “no claim on Iraqi territory and resources.” The US presently has around 138,000 troops in the nation, and President Obama anticipates keeping up to 50,000 troops in the nation indefinitely, though he will declare an end to combat operations on August 31 of next year.

Obama said he believes that the next 18 months are “going to be a critical period” and urged the Iraqi government to do more to integrate the Awakening Council into the security forces. The Iraqi government has claimed the Awakening forces have been infiltrated by both al-Qaeda, and the remnants of the Ba’athist party.

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compiled by Jason Ditz [email the author]

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