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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Communist Party USA News: U.S. Begins Iraq Pullout

Here is an Article from the Communist Party USA News, People's World, that tells about an event most people have forgotten about. President Obama's promise to withdraw troops from Iraq and how its already begun:

"The United States has begun withdrawing troops from Iraq ahead of a major August pullout. A contingent left July 13, cutting short their normal 12-month tour of duty.

The August withdrawal is billed as ending the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, fulfilling a vow President Obama made shortly after taking office last year. Yet some 50,000 "noncombat" troops will remain, along with thousands of private contractors and other U.S. personnel. It remains to be seen what the impact will be on Iraq, and whether all U.S. troops will really leave by 2011 as specified in the agreement signed by President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the Bush administration's final days.

The number of U.S. troops in Iraq is already down to around 75,000 from a peak of about 170,000 during the 2007 "surge."

Under the status of forces agreement signed in December 2008, the U.S. agreed to pull out of Iraqi towns and cities by June 30, 2009, and remove all troops by Dec. 31, 2011.

U.S. troops did withdraw from Iraqi cities last June, moving to massive bases nearby. However they continued to conduct joint operations with the Iraqi army, officially at the Iraqis' request.

Violence continues, with suicide bombings in Baghdad on Sunday killing at least 43 Sunni "Awakening Council" members waiting to collect their government paychecks. Yet attacks are down overall, according to a variety of sources.

U.S. officials are taking pains to insist that next month's withdrawal will proceed as planned. The U.S. pullout "will not in any way affect the physical stability of Iraq," Vice President Joe Biden told ABC News shortly after the Sunday bombings.

Earlier this month, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, suggested that UN peacekeeping forces could be brought in to northern Iraq when U.S. forces leave, to help the Iraqi government curb violence in Mosul and other areas disputed between Kurds and Arabs.

Odierno said a UN force would benefit both the Iraqis and the U.S., enabling President Obama to stick to his withdrawal timetable."

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