U.S. signs agreement to remove military forces

Sunday, November 23, 2008 | 10:00 a.m. CST

Loory: The United States signed a security agreement with the government of Iraq (last week) that requires it to withdraw all forces by the end of 2011. If the Iraqi Parliament approves the agreement, the Iraqi military and government will have to authorize all major American military operations after January 1. By the middle of 2009, all American troops would be withdrawn to their barracks and would not be called upon to carry out military actions unless the Iraqi government and military say that the Americans are needed. The agreement will also subject American soldiers to some jurisdiction in Iraqi courts for serious misdemeanors, and it will forbid American military operations in neighboring countries of Syria and Iran. Not everyone is happy with this deal. The radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr last weekend said that Iraq should reject it and continue to fight the Americans. Iran has also criticized the arrangement. Is Premier Nouri al-Maliki going to get approval for this deal from Parliament? And, is the Iraqi military ready to carry it out?