Odinero gives odds of troop pact's success

Oct. 31, 2008 at 1:42 PM
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BAGHDAD, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- U.S. Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, says chances are as high as 30 percent a U.S.-Iraqi security deal won't be reached.

On a scale of one to 10, "I'm probably (at) a seven or eight that something is going to be worked out," Odierno told The Washington Times. "I think it's important for the government of Iraq. I think it's important for security and stability here."

A draft U.S.-Iraq security accord was reached earlier in October, but Iraqi officials later presented several amendments to the draft. Since the document was leaked, several Iraqi officials and analysts said they doubt that the Iraqi parliament would approve the pact before the end of the year, when a U.N. mandate covering U.S. forces in Iraq expires.

The draft calls for U.S. forces to leave Iraqi cities by June 30 and combat troops to be gone by the end of 2011, unless the Iraqi government asks them to stay. Issues of concern include the schedule for troop withdrawal, provisions for Iraqi legal jurisdiction over U.S. personnel and control over military operations.

Without a mandate, U.S. military activity in Iraq must end or be in violation of international law.

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