Iraq Willing To Allow Early US Troop Withdrawal

The Iraqi government has indicated that it is ready to assume security over the country in the event that U.S. troops are withdrawn prior to the 2011 date agreed to by the Bush Administration.

Obama promised during the campaign to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office. The new president said in his inaugural address Tuesday that he would “begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people.”

The government-owned newspaper Al-Sabah reported Wednesday that Iraqi authorities have drafted contingency plans in case Obama orders a “sudden” withdrawal of all forces and not just combat troops.

Al-Dabbagh told Associated Press Television News that Iraqis had been worried about a quick U.S. departure.

But with the emphasis on a responsible withdrawal, al-Dabbagh said the Iraqi government was willing for the U.S. to leave “even before the end of 2011.” The Bush administration agreed in a security agreement signed in November to remove all U.S. troops by the end of 2011.

The chairman of parliament’s defense committee, Abbas al-Bayati, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Iraqis hoped Obama would stick by the timeline laid the agreement.

“Nevertheless, we already have a ‘Plan B,’ which is that we have the ability to deploy any needed troops to any hot area in Iraq,” al-Bayati said. “We are capable of controlling the situation in the country and we believe we have passed the worst” despite a lack of air and artillery power.”

Despite this, I’m willing to wager that the actual withdrawal date will be closer to Bush’s 2011 date than Obama’s early 2010 date.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Middle East,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    Despite this, I’m willing to wager that the actual withdrawal date will be closer to Bush’s 2011 date than Obama’s early 2010 date.

    As am I.
    Once again, reality.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    No, I think that he’ll meet the date he promised, probably by redefining what he meant by “combat troops”.

    As things are going now I think it’s pretty likely that we’ll have fewer than 80,000 troops in Iraq by the end of 2010 and the remainder will be considered trainers, observers, etc. I suspect we’ll have a sizeable contingent there for the foreseeable future.

  3. Triumph says:

    With Hussein in charge, we don’t have to worry so much about withdrawal as we do about being invaded.

    Hussein’s campaign promise to deliver America to the hands of terrorists seems to be advanced with this move.

    As soon as we are out of Iraq, Iran moves in and doesn’t stop heading West until they get to America.

  4. tom p says:

    No, I think that he’ll meet the date he promised, probably by redefining what he meant by “combat troops”.

    where the rubber hits the road…

  5. caj says:

    Triumph what a pessimist you are, never going to give President Obama credit for anything apparently…your life must be so sad with all the doom and gloom you portray!!!!
    Lighten up and smell the roses not the ammonia!!!

  6. If Obama doesn’t want to face massive midterm losses he better have at least a sizable contingent of troops back in America by ’01. Despite Triumph’s fears, this does not equate to giving in to terrorists, but rather giving Americans what they want.

  7. Michael says:

    As soon as we are out of Iraq, Iran moves in and doesn’t stop heading West until they get to America.

    They’re going to get might wet. Just how far an your average Persian swim anyway?

  8. mike says:

    The title is amusing – “Iraq is WILLING to allow” – what a farce – in the end Iraq will continue to do what we tell them to do – the idea they are an independent already is still a bit of a stretch – they are working toward it but in the end, Iraq would have a lot of problems if we left and they know it.

  9. caj says:

    They should have been ready a few years back, after the elections there was great hullabaloo about that and how that was going to make things better!!! That was played up here by Bush as the nearest thing to heaven. The Iraqi’s running around with blue fingers as if that was going to change anything!!! It’s all a nonsense just bring the troops home as we are not going to get any victory there ever.