Galbraith: SOFA is ‘stunning and humiliating’ for Bush

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We have not yet blogged on the the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) — because it was still being debated and hammered out.   (Iraq was supposed to vote on it today, but yet again this has been delayed. ) Reading the document,  it is striking how much  the US has given up.  We are being shown the door.

Peter Galbraith, a top Iraq expert and former ambassador to Croatia, and senior diplomatic fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation,  put it best in a statement he issued today on the SOFA,

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

http://theiraqinsider.blogspot.com/2008/11/galbraith-sofa-is-stunning-and.html

US paying for 300+ private security contractors in Iraq

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New York Times

October 28, 2008 – At least 310 private security companies from around the world have received contracts from United States agencies to protect American and Iraqi officials, installations, convoys and other entities in Iraq since 2003, according to the most comprehensive accounting yet of the secretive and weakly regulated role that private firms have played in the conflict.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/29/world/middleeast/29protect.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

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