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Galbraith: US-Iraq Security Agreement Is 'Stunning and Humiliating' for Bush

Iraqi leaders motivated by pro-Shiite and pro-Iranian agendas says Galbraith


Peter Galbraith, a top Iraq expert and former ambassador to Croatia, issued a statement today on the status of forces agreement recently signed by the United States and Iraq.

Galbraith serves as senior diplomatic fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. He is available for comment today (Wednesday, November 26) from Cambridge, MA.

"The agreement represents a stunning and humiliating reversal of course by the Bush administration, which had vehemently opposed any timetable for withdrawal from Iraq," said Galbraith.

Iraqi and American negotiators have been working on the security agreement for over a year. The Iraqi parliament is expected to vote on the pact on Wednesday. To pass, the agreement needs to get 138 votes out of 275 Iraqi lawmakers and also must be ratified by the Iraqi presidential council.

"For the last two years, President Bush has pretended that Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki is a democrat and an American ally. In fact, Maliki is a sectarian Shiite politician who heads a government dominated by pro-Iranian religious parties,"
remarked Galbraith. "The U.S. presence now no longer serves the interests of Iraq's ruling Shiite religious parties or their Iranian allies, so we are now being asked to leave."

The agreement mandates that "all U.S. combat forces" withdraw from urban areas in Iraq by June 30, 2009, and that "all U.S. forces" withdraw from the country by December 31, 2011. The agreement upholds Iraq's "sovereign right" to demand the departure of U.S. forces anytime and recognizes the United States' "sovereign right" to remove its forces earlier than the end of 2011.

For more information about the agreement, see the in depth analysis online.

The agreement also bars permanent American bases in
Iraq, prohibits the
States from using Iraqi territory to launch attacks
against other nations, and bars any residual
forces in

beyond the end of 2011.

Galbraith concluded: "While
U.S. withdrawal is made
easier by the fact that both the Iraqi government and the new
U.S. administration want American troops out,
the confluence of events leading to the agreement underscores the folly of
President Bush's lost


Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to enhancing international peace and security in the 21st century. The Center is funded by grants from private foundations and the generosity of thousands of individual donors.