Iraq Timetable

Iraqi officials insist on withdrawal timetable

Iraq’s national security adviser said Tuesday his country will not accept any security deal with the U.S. unless it contains specific dates for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.

The comments by Mouwaffak al-Rubaie were the strongest yet by an Iraqi official about the deal now under negotiation with U.S. officials. It came a day after Iraq’s prime minister first said publicly that he expects the pending troop deal with the U.S. to have some type of timetable for withdrawal.

First, it appears that Iraq is getting more and more confident that their military and police forces will be able to maintain security. They’re probably not too far off base on that, though there’s still quite a ways to go.

Secondly, the “withdrawal” being discussed here is not a withdrawal from Iraq, just from the major urban areas:

The Iraqi proposal stipulates that, once Iraqi forces have resumed security responsibility in all 18 of Iraq’s provinces, U.S.-led forces would then withdraw from all cities in the country.

After that, the country’s security situation would be reviewed every six months, for three to five years, to decide when U.S.-led troops would pull out entirely, al-Adeeb said.

There is nothing earth-shaking about this. In fact, our troops were already beginning to withdraw a bit from day-to-day city life in 2006. That, of course, is when things began going south in a hurry.

Our long-term plan almost certainly involves our troops from pulling back and providing reaction forces and a deterrent to outside forces. Though we would certainly like to lower the troop level, it’s not going to get too low too soon. Nothing I’m seeing about this latest announcement seems to alter that at all.


  1. If nothing else, this proposal should be the ‘public face’ of the agreement. It does two things, 1st it boosts the Iraq1 politicians. They get to appear to be ‘strong’ defending Iraqi honor, and defanging the extremists. If the ‘occupier’ is going, why blow everything up. Second, it defangs Obama – with an agreement in place to ‘withdraw’ his big talking point dies. The details of the agreement – where American ‘trainers’ are based, and for how long can be decided later. Bush if he really wants McCain to win, needs to take this plan ASAP. After all, no sovereign country is going to let another countries army to occupy the streets indefinitely. Just as the democrats have to realize that we are actually on the verge of victory in Iraq. Bush has to realize that we need a political ‘victory’ to seal deal.

  2. Long term the trainers will end up under MAAG/ODC. Under the embassy staff like all the rest of the world’s US MAAG/ODCs. Diplomatic Passports and all…