US Commanders Chafe at Iraq's Tight New Restrictions

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2009 6:00 AM CDT
Iraqi police stand outside a Christian church the morning after a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – The Iraq government has tightly restricted the movements and activities of American troops remaining in cities, and some commanders blame the restrictions for a rise in attacks, the Washington Post. The day after Iraqis celebrated the pullback of US troops to outside cities, Iraq ordered the US military to cease all joint patrols in Baghdad, and move resupply convoys only at night. Military officials say they have been prevented from fully responding to attacks on US forces still engaged in training Iraqis.

Iraqi leaders are eager to demonstrate their independence from the US military. But  American forces complain that Iraqi readiness doesn't match their confidence, and plan to assert their right to self-defense under the agreement, with or without Iraqi approval.  "This is a broad right and it demands that we patrol, raid and secure routes as necessary to keep our forces safe," the commander of the Baghdad division says. "We'll do that, preferably partnered."