Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



US confident of Iraq troops accord

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Nov 19, 2008
The Bush administration turned to Congress Wednesday to mount a defense of a landmark agreement with Iraq that calls for the withdrawal of all US forces by the end of 2011.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James Cartwright, were to brief lawmakers from both houses of Congress on the accord behind closed doors, officials said.

"I don't believe we have any concerns" about the accord, said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary.

"If we had concerns, trust me, Secretary Gates and General Cartwright would not be up explaining this and supporting this to members of Congress," he told reporters.

The administration has yet to make public the text of the so-called status of forces agreement, which has been approved by the Iraqi government but has not yet been ratified by the parliament.

But top officials have confirmed it calls for a withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 without pre-conditions.

Among potentially controversial provisions are that it gives Iraq legal jurisdiction over US troops accused of major crimes off base and off duty, as well as over US contractors in all cases.

Those were major concessions that the United States made to clinch a deal before a UN mandate on the US military presence in Iraq runs out December 31.

The administration argues that the agreement does not rise to a level that would require ratification by the US Senate, but has pledged to keep members of Congress informed.

"We think we're on a good trajectory right now," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, who dismissed talk that Washington is working on a contingency plan if the Iraqi parliament rejects the agreement.

"Our focus is on Plan A and trying to get Plan A to work, which is to get this agreement done," she told reporters.

"All we need to do is to have them have the reading, let the parliament debate, as you would in a democratic society, and then have a vote. We think they'll be able to do it later this week, or early next week, or next week."

Morrell said the top US commanders in the Middle East and in Iraq had signed off the agreement.

"Both seem to be very confident that it provides the framework for them to continue to do all that still needs to be done," he said.

He said the security situation and Iraqi security forces had improved so dramatically "that we are confident that, if things continue to trend as they have been, our services will not be needed in Iraq, come 2012."

The US military relies heavily on foreign contractors to support its operations in Iraq, but Morrell indicated that the absence of US legal protections for American contractors was not seen as a problem.

"Increasingly, Iraqis are doing security contracting work in Iraq. And, obviously, Iraqis would be subject to Iraqi law," he said.

"Furthermore, listen, this is clearly a very profitable business for contractors. That's why we see so many of them doing what has been, to this point, very risky jobs," he said.

"I would imagine that no matter what the legal protections are for contractors operating in Iraq, it will remain a profitable enough businesses that you will still see a number of companies willing to do this," he said.

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


US-Iraq Pact Highlights Year Of Ongoing Gains
Washington (AFP) Nov 17, 2008
Washington and Baghdad are moving closer to clinching a security pact that highlights Iraq's growing stability but also the blood and treasure that all sides have spent to achieve modest gains.







  • Russia favours EU over NATO for security talks: envoy
  • Cooperation is essential for security in Europe: Lavrov
  • US Remains Key Security And Economic Partner In East Asia
  • Russia To Open Military Bases In Abkhazia, South Ossetia In 2009

  • IAEA unable to say if bombed Syrian site was nuclear reactor
  • IAEA makes little headway on Syria, Iran
  • Iran sees no obligation to IAEA despite nuclear deadlock
  • Sticking An Iskander Missile Into The ABM Shield Part One

  • Army Developed Missile System Aids In Protecting New Class Of Navy Ship
  • Russia To Equip Five Brigades With Iskander Missile Systems By 2015
  • Spanish Army Conducts Successful NASAMS Live-Fire Exercise
  • US denounces Iran missile test

  • France Says Countries Should Be Free To Decide On Missile Shield
  • US defence secretary blasts Russia's missile threat
  • US missile chief to Obama: anti-missile system 'is workable'
  • BMD Watch: Russia may talk to Obama on BMD

  • Two China airlines to get govt aid: state media
  • China's air show saw four bln dollars in deals: report
  • China plane-makers take first steps to rival global giants
  • Aviation giants look to China amid global turbulence

  • Major Al-Qaeda operative killed in US drone strike: Pakistan security
  • German Forces Test Stabilized Camera System For Mini-UAV
  • Honeywell Wins First Production Contract For T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle
  • Aurora Wins USAF Contract On Vision-Based MAV Guidance

  • US confident of Iraq troops accord
  • Gulf War syndrome real, report says
  • US, Iraq, Iran and Israel Need To Talk Not Meddle
  • US-Iraq Pact Highlights Year Of Ongoing Gains

  • Arnold Engineers Test Army Weapon To Evaluate Its Capability
  • Safer, More Reliable Electroshock Weapons
  • LM F-35 Lightning II Flies Supersonic
  • LockMart Receives Contract For Paveway II Laser Guided Bomb Kits

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement