Iraq’s cabinet approved a pact on Sunday that will let U.S. troops stay in the country until 2011, setting a final date to end a military presence that began with the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.c
It puts a closing date on a war that has been one of the defining political issues in the United States, the Middle East and around the globe for much of the past decade.
“The total withdrawal will be completed by December 31, 2011. This is not governed by circumstances on the ground. This date is specific and final,” cabinet spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said of the pact, supported by 27 of 28 cabinet members.
This is just the agreement. Actually extricating ourselves from that damaged country without leaving behind more chaos will be one of the greatest challenges our new president will face. But we can all be grateful, the target date has been set, and everything we do now is to work towards that withdrawal.