Pentagon Concedes Iraq Election Delay Could Stall Pullout

Kurdish Boycott of Parliament Delays Vote

Iraq’s parliament failed again today to settle on a law to govern the January elections, indeed they couldn’t vote at all because a Kurdish boycott of parliament over the Kirkuk issue left the parliament with only about 100 attending MPs, far too few for a quorum.

With these continued failures making it increasingly likely that the January vote will have to be delayed, the Pentagon is finally admitting that such a delay would likely also mean the planned pullout timetable would be in jeopardy.

The US does not intend to significantly change the number of troops in Iraq, roughly 120,000, until after it sees how the Iraqi national election turns out. But the pledge to reduce the level to 50,000 (alternatively 75,000 according to one general) by August is already going to require a mad dash to make, and will likely be abandoned entirely if the election is delayed.

US officials are increasingly anxious to see a settlement reached over the election law, but already two weeks past the official deadline for passing the law parliament shows no signs of settling things any time soon.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.