US General to Prepare for Possible Baghdad Exit

Maj. Gen. Hammond Says Military May Comply With Pact Requirement to Leave Baghdad "At Some Point"

The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the United States and Iraq requires all American forces to withdraw from Iraq’s cities and villages by the end of June. According to US Major General Jeffery Hammond, they may just keep their promise, if things go well.

If conditions do not change, I anticipate there would be a reduction of coalition forces in Baghdad at some point,” declared the general. So maybe, if things don’t change, there’s a chance the US might start doing what the SOFA requires them to do “at some point.” There’s nothing like a firm deadline, and despite the Iraqi government’s claims while selling the deal to parliament, this is nothing like a firm deadline.

The fact of the matter the United States has spoken of the deadlines as “aspirational dates” since before the Iraqis voted. Indeed over a month ago General Ray Odierno, the head of US forces in Iraq, conceded that he never intended to have all forces out of Iraq’s cities by the deadline. They probably will at some point though.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.