U.S. Troops on Target to Leave Iraq This Year

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2011 — The Unit­ed States intends to abide by its com­mit­ments in the 2008 U.S.-Iraq Secu­ri­ty Agree­ment, includ­ing the oblig­a­tion to com­plete the draw­down of U.S. forces there by the end of the year, Pen­ta­gon spokesman Marine Col. Dave Lapan said today.
Any news sto­ry that gives a num­ber of U.S. troops remain­ing in Iraq after Dec. 31 is wrong, Lapan said.

“The process for troops to remain in the coun­try after that date begins with an offi­cial request from the Iraqi gov­ern­ment, and no such request has been made,” he said. “Until the gov­ern­ment of Iraq makes a request, there is no number.” 

Unless the Iraqi gov­ern­ment makes such a request, there are no plans for a U.S. mil­i­tary pres­ence there after this year, oth­er than those DOD per­son­nel assigned to the Office of Secu­ri­ty Cooperation-Iraq. 

Indi­vid­ual ser­vice mem­bers will be part of the U.S. embassy staff, as they are in most Amer­i­can embassies around the world and under author­i­ty of the Chief of Mis­sion in Bagh­dad, Lapan said. 

There are some 46,000 U.S. ser­vice mem­bers in Iraq today. 

Amer­i­can offi­cials have said the Unit­ed States would be will­ing to have some troops remain in coun­try for a lim­it­ed time, if Iraq asks. Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces, while increas­ing­ly capa­ble, will have gaps in the defens­es. The Iraqi air force, for exam­ple, is not pre­pared to defend the coun­try against exter­nal threats, offi­cials have said, and the Iraqi army and police still have short­com­ings in intel­li­gence fusion, sus­tain­ment and logis­tics. These are all areas DOD can pro­vide sup­port, Lapan said. 

But it begins with an Iraqi request for Amer­i­can forces to remain past the dead­line. If the Iraqi gov­ern­ment makes the request, then offi­cials of both coun­tries will nego­ti­ate the num­ber and sta­tus of the troops. Put anoth­er way, “the admin­is­tra­tion has made it clear that if the Iraqis make a request for us to main­tain some pres­ence, then we will con­sid­er that request,” Lapan said. 

U.S. offi­cials have made it clear that the Iraqis need to decide about Amer­i­can mil­i­tary assis­tance soon. “The longer they wait to make a deci­sion, it has an impact as to what we’re able to do, once we start with­draw­ing forces,” he said. 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twitter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →