Trump, Iraqi PM Talk US Pullout, But Are Mum on Details

Top level talks are light on specificity

On Thursday, President Trump and Iraqi PM Kadhimi talked up something no one expected, a US drawdown and potential pullout from Iraq. Trump is said to want troops out of Iraq, or at least to the lowest level since 2003, as soon as possible.

The summary on this is that Trump wants troop levels cut by the election, and Iraq wants US combat troops out as soon as possible. The details are not at all clear, with both countries seemingly content to emphasize talking points over procedure.

Troop levels are known to be a top priority in Iraq, with parliament calling on the US troops to leave earlier this year. Trump ruled that out but now seems to be more open to the idea of drawdowns now.

Trump has made much of having a very low level left in Afghanistan before the November election, and seems similarly inclined toward Iraq now, even if numbers are a lot less clear. The lack of details will allow either side to change goals at a moment’s notice without anyone being clear that’s what happened.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of