'Leaving Iraq'

Iraq convoyJust posted: Ronald Osborn's "Leaving Iraq: Immunity, Impunity & the End of the War." It begins:

It was not supposed to end this way. Although President Barack Obama deserves credit for bringing an end to the war in Iraq that he inherited, if he had had his wishes, thousands of U.S. troops would nevertheless have remained stationed in Iraq indefinitely. The decision by the White House and the Pentagon to withdraw all U.S. soldiers before Christmas (with the exception of fewer than two hundred active duty forces attached to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad) was only made around October 2011. It followed months of negotiations with the Iraqi government to revise the terms of the withdrawal agreement signed by President George W. Bush shortly before he left office. That pact mandated that all U.S. troops leave the country by the end of 2011, but the Bush administration expected that the treaty would be renegotiated before the December deadline to keep at least several thousand soldiers in the country. And that is precisely what Obama attempted during the past year. Talks with the Iraqis broke down, however, over a single issue: the unwillingness of the Iraqi parliament to accept a Status of Forces Agreement (or SOFA) granting U.S. soldiers immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts.

Read the rest here.

Grant Gallicho joined Commonweal as an intern and was an associate editor for the magazine until 2015. 

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