Iraq's government could soon be in charge of US troops for the first time, a prelude to their full withdrawal by 2011 under a deal now awaiting approval by Iraqi politicians, Reuters reports. The deal sets a firm timeline, and lets the Arab nation prosecute American soldiers for some serious crimes committed off of US bases—previously a major stumbling block.
The security pact, revocable with a year’s notice, envisions troops leaving incrementally starting next summer, unless the Iraqi government requests they stay; it replaces an expiring UN Security Council mandate. “Nothing is done until everything is done. Everything isn't done,” demurred a US spokesman. “The Iraqis are still talking among themselves. We are still talking to the Iraqis.”