August 17, 2009
The Washington Post

Iraqi Voters to Decide Whether to Speed U.S. Withdrawal

by Ernesto Londono

The Iraqi government announced Monday that it intends to let voters decide in January whether the departure of U.S. troops should be accelerated.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's cabinet is submitting a draft law to parliament asking it to authorize and fund a referendum on the bilateral agreement that regulates the presence of U.S. troops, the government announced.

The referendum would be held during January's national election.

U.S. officials have quietly lobbied the Iraqi government to suspend plans to hold the referendum, because they're all but certain voters would annul the agreement.

If that were to happen, U.S. troops would have one year to depart, moving up their targeted December 2011 withdrawal date by almost a year. . . .

The referendum was supposed to happen in July, . . .


"The U.S. 'Withdraws' From Iraqi Cities," The Wisdom Fund, July 1, 2009

[At the height of the war, more than 300 bases were scattered across Iraq. Over the next few months, Americans hope to be at six huge bases--Marc Santora, "Big U.S. Bases Are Part of Iraq, but a World Apart," New York Times, September 8, 2009]

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