Status of Forces Agreement

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New Deal Would Keep US in Afghanistan Until 2024

Afghan grand council of elders votes on it today

(Newser) - US and Afghan negotiators have struck a security deal that will keep US troops in Afghanistan through 2024, while keeping billions of aid dollars pumping into Kabul, John Kerry announced yesterday. Hamid Karzai today presented the deal to the Loya Jirga , Afghanistan's grand council of elders, urging them to... More »

Al-Sadr Tells Iraqi Militias to Stop Attacking US Troops

Because he wants troops to leave Iraq on time

(Newser) - Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered his followers to stop attacking US troops—to make sure they get out of Iraq on time. “Out of my desire to complete Iraq’s independence … I am obliged to halt military operations of the honest Iraqi resistance until the withdrawal... More »

Biden in Iraq to Talk Troop Withdrawal

Sadr faction wants them out on schedule in December

(Newser) - Joe Biden arrived in Iraq for a one-day visit today, and the top topic for discussion, behind closed doors anyway, was expected to be the US’ December troop withdrawal deadline, an official tells the AP . In front of closed doors, Biden merely reiterated the US' friendship with Iraq. “The... More »

McCain: Let's Slow Down the Iraq Withdrawal

Don't blow fragile democracy by decamping, he argues

(Newser) - In a bit of campaign deja vu, John McCain is pumping Iraq’s not yet counted March 7 election as “a triumph for Iraq—and for the United States”—and saying the US shouldn't be in a hurry to leave the country. In an op-ed piece in today’... More »

Top US Commander Wants Troops Out of Iraq Pronto

(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... More »

General: Al-Qaeda Threatens Iraq Withdrawal Deadline

Troops may stay in Mosul, Baqubah beyond June 30

(Newser) - The US may have to ignore the June 30 deadline for US troops to pull out of Iraqi cities if al-Qaeda is to be defeated, America's top commander in Iraq tells the Times of London. Gen. Ray Odierno believes the military can stick to most of the withdrawal timetable, but... More »

Obama: Iraq War Ends by Aug. 31, 2010

(Newser) - President Obama didn’t mince his words in his address at Camp Lejeune, NC, today. “By Aug. 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end,” he declared, earning his first applause from the audience of Marines. “Iraq is not yet secure, and there will be difficult... More »

US Troops to Stay in Iraqi Cities Past Deadline

Odierno says troops to stay past June, remain in 'close partnership' with Iraqis

(Newser) - Not all American troops will be leaving Iraqi cities in June, despite a new security agreement with the Iraqi government requiring them to do so, Gen. Ray Odierno said today. A number of troops still to be negotiated with the Iraqi government will remain in city security posts to support... More »

US Moves to Boost Cases Against Key Iraqi Detainees

Accord will shift jurisdiction to Baghdad, and officials want evidence to stand up in trial

(Newser) - The US military has begun assembling evidence against 5,000 Iraqi detainees it deems most dangerous, USA Today reports, hoping to file charges that will stand up in court once Baghdad gains legal jurisdiction. Some 15,800 detainees remain in military custody, but when the Status of Forces Agreement kicks... More »

10,000 Iraqis Protest Troop Deal

Hang Bush in effigy

(Newser) - More than 10,000 Muqtada al-Sadr supporters gathered in Baghdad today to protest the US-Iraqi security pact that would keep troops in the country for another 3 years. The protesters hanged an effigy of President Bush from the same plinth Saddam Hussein’s statue was once toppled from by US... More »

Maliki, US Reach Deal on Troops

Breakthrough sets stage for vote to have Americans out in 2011

(Newser) - Nouri al-Maliki has thrown his support behind the latest version of a proposed US-Iraqi security pact and will urge his Cabinet members to do the same, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Iraqi prime minister’s support represents a huge step in the contentious negotiations to replace an expiring UN... More »

Al-Sadr Decries US Pact at Rally

Tens of thousands gather in protest

(Newser) - Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr today called on Iraq's parliament to reject a US-Iraqi security pact as tens of thousands of his followers rallied in Baghdad against the deal. "The Iraqi government has abandoned its duty before God and its people," Sadr said through a spokesman. "I am... More »

Maliki Is US Pawn No Longer

Iraqi drifts away from US—and toward Iran

(Newser) - With just four months left on America’s UN mandate to police Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki is playing hardball. Once seen as an embattled US puppet, the Iraqi PM has consolidated his power, and is turning visibly away from his former backers in Washington, the Los Angeles Times reports. He’s... More »

US, Iraq Inch Closer to Pact

'Time horizon' greases wheels in negotiation

(Newser) - The Bush administration has made serious strides in its efforts to forge a security pact with Iraq, the Wall Street Journal reports. Just a month ago Nouri al-Maliki said talks had hit a “dead end,” but now that Bush has agreed to set up a flexible withdrawal timetable,... More »

Timetable Needed to End 'Foreign Presence' in Iraq: PM

'Specific time' for withdrawal must be part of new security deal, Maliki says

(Newser) - Iraq is ready to be rid of US troops, its prime minister said today, and he wants a timetable. “We are looking at the necessity of terminating the foreign presence on Iraqi lands and restoring full sovereignty,” Nouri al-Maliki told Arab diplomats, saying the “memorandum of understanding”... More »

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