U.S. Would Leave Iraq if Asked?!

UPI/Interest!ALERT – U.S. will leave Iraq if asked

U.S. and coalition forces will leave Iraq if asked to do so by an interim Iraqi government, a State Department official told the House Thursday.

During occasionally combative questioning by bipartisan members of the International Relations Committee, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman said that the United States would respect the wishes of a newly sovereign Iraq even if it meant withdrawing troops before Iraqi general elections are held in 2005. The sovereignty handover is scheduled for June 30.

Grossman repeatedly insisted that he did not believe such a request would be made by the new Iraqi body.

The notion that coalition forces would take marching orders from Iraqis was challenged by a military representative testifying before the committee. Lt. General Walter L. Sharp of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that U.S.-led multinational forces were authorized under U.N. resolutions to operate in Iraq at least until a permanent constitutional government was elected.

Surely, this isn’t our actual policy? I could understand this as diplomatic nicespeak to preserve the illusion that the Iraqi transitional government will actually be “sovereign,” but I can’t imagine we would simply march out of there after all we’ve been if they merely asked.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. I’d imagine there are a fair number of caveats to that statement…

  2. chuck says:

    Lt. General Walter L. Sharp of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that U.S.-led multinational forces were authorized under U.N. resolutions to operate in Iraq at least until a permanent constitutional government was elected.

    OH! Now we’re citing international LAW to justify our actions (instead of ignoring it completely when it suits our needs)!!

    ROTFLMFAO!!!

  3. Jussi Hämäläinen says:

    A question:

    It occurred to me that this withdrawal-after-handover could be a way for Bush and Blair to declare victory and pull out of Iraq w/o losing much face,thus saving their political fortunes.

    Of course,if Iraq should descend into civil war,they would be blamed for it by some of the hawks,and the partisan peace activists.But would the people care,if the troops were coming home?

  4. Boyd says:

    Yes, we would be glad that our troops would be out of harms way, Jussi, but we would wonder why we bothered to topple Hussein and lose all those lives if Iraq were to descend into civil war.

    And because President Bush won’t feel the job is done until there is a stable government in Iraq, we won’t be leaving for a while.

  5. Mercutio says:

    I believe this is the dept of State tail trying to wag the dog again.