Top US Commander Wants Troops Out of Iraq Pronto

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2009 12:11 PM CDT
US Army soldiers are seen resting in the shade at Forward Operating Base Warhorse in Baqouba, Iraq, Tuesday, June 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/ Maya Alleruzzo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The US should get out of Iraq sooner rather than later, a top Army officer wrote in a recent memo obtained by the Washington Independent. Col. Timothy Reese, the chief of the Baghdad Operations Command Advisory Team, says American forces “smell bad to the Iraqi nose,” and their presence—currently scheduled to extend until 2011—jeopardizes relations with Baghdad. He also cites the Iraqi government's numerous restrictions on US operations.

Those restrictions “violate the most basic aspects” of the Status of Forces Agreement, most notably by taking over the entry to the Green Zone. “The security of US forces are at risk,” Reese warns. “We should declare our intentions to withdraw all US military forces from Iraq by August 2010.” He also says he believes the US no longer has the leverage to influence Iraqi policy or military actions.