From the Associated Press:
The U.S. is abandoning plans to keep U.S. troops in Iraq past a year-end withdrawal deadline, The Associated Press has learned. The decision to pull out fully by January will effectively end more than eight years of U.S. involvement in the Iraq war, despite ongoing concerns about its security forces and the potential for instability.I disagree with that last statement. Keeping Americans in Iraq to police their nation will only waste MORE American lives. You can't get back the 4,400 soldiers who died as a result of the deceptive Bush administration, and to keep the troops in that situation will only compound the error. This is absolutely a situation where it is permissible and even commendable to "cut and run", as our conservative brethren are so fond of saying as a pejorative.
The decision ends months of hand-wringing by U.S. officials over whether to stick to a Dec. 31 withdrawal deadline that was set in 2008 or negotiate a new security agreement to ensure that gains made and more than 4,400 American military lives lost since March 2003 do not go to waste. (emphasis mine)
Iraq can stand on its own two feet now. Time to let them walk on their own.
Also, there's the little issue of Iraq not backing down on their intent to make Americans responsible for any alleged crimes that occur after January 1st:
Throughout the discussions, Iraqi leaders have adamantly refused to give U.S. troops immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts, and the Americans have refused to stay without it.The issue of military accountability is at risk here, with the US saying they won't stay if they have to actually answer for any potential "excesses" that they may indulge in.
So, I guess we're looking at an end to active military involvement in a war that was wrong from the day it was conceived. And it only took us about eight years to remedy it. Sheesh!