U.S. OUT OF IRAQ BY 2011….Holy cats. According to the Wall Street Journal, we’re getting out of Iraq:
U.S. and Iraqi negotiators reached agreement on a security deal that calls for American military forces to leave Iraq’s cities by next summer as a prelude to a full withdrawal of combat troops from the country, according to senior American officials.
The draft agreement sets 2011 as the date by which U.S. combat troops will leave Iraq, according to Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Haj Humood and other people familiar with the matter.
….”The talking is done,” one U.S. official said late Wednesday night. “Now the decision makers choose whether to give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down.”
….U.S. President George W. Bush is almost certain to accept the agreement, according to U.S. officials. The administration believes that the deal doesn’t require congressional approval and won’t present it to U.S. lawmakers.
Wow. As the story points out, “precise terms of the agreement weren’t clear Wednesday night,” so full-scale celebrations probably ought to wait. Still, we’re getting out! I’m a little stunned by this even though it’s pretty much what I’ve been expecting for the past few weeks.
I’m not sure what effect this is going to have on the presidential campaign — that needs a little more thought — but who cares? We’re getting out of Iraq!
UPDATE: A couple of hours after I posted this, the Journal updated their story to clarify that the agreement calls for full withdrawal of all combat troops by 2011, not all military forces. I’ve corrected the text above. This is pretty much what I assumed anyway, since even withdrawal advocates like Barack Obama routinely talk about keeping a residual force of some kind in Iraq over the long term.