It is Bush's fault, but this time you won't have Mr. Obama pointing his finger. He wants the blame this time to satisfy a certain vocal segment of his supporters.U. S. troops are coming home
, and President Obama is not to blame. Former President George W. Bush is. This all has to do with the Status of Forces Agreement [pdf]
signed by him back on November 26, 2007.
SOFAs have been drafted in the past for specific exercises and/or events, 55 but including a date
for the withdrawal of all forces from a foreign territory appears unique to this agreement. 56 The
withdrawal is a two-phase process. The first requires the withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces
from Iraqi cities, villages, and localities no later than June 30, 2009; the second requires the
withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraqi territory no later than December 31, 2011. 57 The JMOCC,
created to coordinate military operations, will establish the areas and facilities where U.S. forces
will be stationed between June 30, 2009, and December 31, 2011. 58 Additionally, the agreement
recognizes the sovereign right of Iraq to request the departure of U.S. forces at any time and also
the right of the United States to withdraw its forces at any time. 59 In an April, 2009, interview,
General Odierno, Commanding General of Multi-National Force Iraq, stated that U.S. forces may
not meet the June 30, 2009, deadline to withdraw from Iraqi cities. 60 However, on June 30, 2009,
General Odierno announced that U.S. combat forces had completed the withdrawal from Iraqi
cities in accordance with the agreement. 61 Even though the term of the agreement is three years,
and either party may cancel the agreement with one-year notice, both countries retain the right to
remove U.S. forces independent of the agreement. However, because the agreement requires the
removal of all U.S. forces no later than December 31, 2011, if any U.S. forces were to remain in
Iraq in support of security training, or other programs, the withdrawal agreement will need to be
extended or replaced with a peacetime SOFA.
Obama didn't send our troops home. Bush did.