Members of Congress say: Leave Iraq this year


Ninety-three members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a letter to President Obama urging complete withdrawal of U.S. forces and contractors from Iraq by the end of this year, as pledged in the Status of Forces Agreement signed with Iraq's government during the Bush administration.

The letter, dated July 27, was initiated by U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C. Three of Jones' Republican colleagues - Reps. Jimmy Duncan, Tenn., Tim Johnson, Ill., and Ron Paul, Texas - are among the signers.

The letter reads, in part:

We are writing to urge you to hold to our nation's Status of Forces Agreement with the government of Iraq that commits our nation to bringing all of our troops and military contractors home at the end of this calendar year.

The American people have made it clear that the war in Iraq must end. By wide and overwhelming margins, Americans approve of your plan to remove all the troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

We are deeply concerned to learn that your administration is considering plans to keep potentially thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the end of this year. Extending our presence in Iraq is counterproductive - the Iraqi people do not support our continued occupation. Remaining in Iraq would only strengthen the perception that we are an occupying force with no intention of leaving Iraq.

Leaving troops and military contractors in Iraq beyond the deadline is not in our country's security interests, it is not in our nation's strategic interests, and it is not in our nation's economic interests.

The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) was signed by the Bush administration and the Iraqi government in November 2008. While it commits the U.S. to withdraw all forces by the end of this year, it contains an escape clause: "... subject to possible further negotiations which could delay withdrawal ..."

Less than 50,000 U.S. troops now remain in Iraq. The Pentagon has been encouraging the Iraqi government to ask for an extension of their presence.

In May, before leaving the office of Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates said he favored extending the U.S. presence. "All I can say is, from the standpoint of Iraq's future but also our role in the region, I hope they figure out a way to ask," he said.

Earlier this month, on his first visit to Iraq, current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared the U.S. would have an "enduring presence" in the Middle East, and said he would like the decision-making process "to move a lot faster here ... Dammit, make a decision!"

Meanwhile, earlier this month 100 Iraqi lawmakers signed a petition to the Iraqi government demanding U.S. troops leave their country by the end of this year, as scheduled.

Photo: U.S. soldier trains Iraqi police, via U.S. Army.

Post your comment

Comments are moderated. See guidelines here.


  • It is true that never less than 85% of the Iraqi people want and need U.S. Military, and Private Contractors to leave Iraq.

    It is also true that the Iraqi Resistence defeated the U.S. Military, and proved beyond a doubt that they need to go home and free their own people from unjust aggression wars, and to re-tool the industrial revolution to the non-pollution solutions, such as wind, tidal, and solar power which transforms to electricity and is more power than can be used by society. No more blackouts.

    They need to end the coal, gas, oil, and atomic energy destruction of the livability of the Planet. The fossil fuel burn-out of oxygen is now at 38% and we cannot live on the CO2--carbon-dioxide that has replaced the oxygen. The planet is toasting, and the temperature is rising, while being in 'fail-safe' mode since the late eighties of the last century.

    The cascading CO2 into the atmosphere is so abundant that mother nature can no longer replace oxygen fast enough from the eclogical green trees etc, at a rate that would allow safe amounts of oxygen to renew our livability.

    In other words keeping this present system in place, let alone waring for more polluting from oil, will inevitably end the oxygen, and thereby end all air breathing animals including our very own specie. Isn't that the most threatening aggressive war yet.

    Nothing before could match the death of all oxygen breathing life. No. American Military ought to go home and re-tool their own country to the liberation path by re-tooling to the renewables.

    Workers of the world, unite!! End pollution wars, not endless wars for more and more pollution. You, yet have a world to win!!

    Posted by john, 08/01/2012 2:41am (4 years ago)

  • Leave Iraq? leave Afghanistan? Leave Afghanistan to go to Iraq? Or leave Iraq to to go to afghanistan? Or Leave Iraq and Afghanistan to go to Libya? ...Wow.! It's like a giant shell game! Get over it Marilyn, no one is leaving anytime soon. There is no EXIT PLAN. Only silly little talks with no execution.

    Posted by mike, 08/21/2011 12:40am (4 years ago)

  • Get out of Iraq, havn't we shed enough American blood to ensure their "safety" we cannot be the "World's Policemen" forever, I was once caught in a similiar "Web" about Panama under the 1st George Bush, all I received was a disability check & a Postal job I had to leave 10 yrs ago, Its up to the Iraqis to decide their future, get our troops out! J_Duffy(former Marine) Seymour Indiana

    Posted by Jason Duffy, 08/02/2011 2:46pm (5 years ago)

  • Bring all the troops home and that will end the budget debate.

    As far as an enduring presence in the Middle East...we should leave before we are made to. That day could come, perhaps sooner than later. The arab spring is focused on their chronies for now, not a good idea to be around when they decide to turn their total attention on us.

    Sceptical? Ask the French and the Brits about occupying the region.

    Posted by Mike Greer, 08/01/2011 3:59am (5 years ago)

  • Sehr gut!

    Posted by vwr, 07/29/2011 12:07pm (5 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments