Military spokesman Major General David Perkins told reporters today that there was “no doubt” that the US would have all troops out of Iraq’s cities by June, as required by the Status of Forces Agreement signed last year.
The announcement came as something of a surprise considering top military commander in Iraq General Ray Odierno said in December that he had no intention of having the troops out of Iraq’s cities by the June 30 deadline.
Maj. Gen. Perkins added that Gen. Odierno has been “in discussions with the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense about what he thinks is needed here,” adding that he expected President Obama would make some sort of decision about his intentions to redeploy troops from Iraq to Afghanistan “shortly.”
President Obama has already approved adding an additional 17,000 US troops to the war in Afghanistan, but it has so far been unclear how many of those troops will be coming from Iraq. During the campaign Obama promised a 16-month timetable for an Iraq pullout, but it does not appear that he feels bound by that since taking office.