Mullen: Exit dates in Iraq deal not a problem

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The chairman of the Joint Chiefs confirmed Monday that the new U.S. agreement with Iraq calls for all U.S. troops to be completely out of Iraq by the end of 2011 and that he is “comfortable” with the deal.

“It is my understanding that the 2011 date [means] all American forces [must be] out,” said Navy Adm. Mike Mullen.

The specifics of the agreement have not been publicly released, although the Associated Press reports that the SOFA includes a Dec. 31, 2011 pullout date for all the roughly 151,000 U.S. troops in the country and that it is scheduled for a Nov. 24 vote.

The AP has also reported that according to the agreement, U.S. troops must be out of all Iraqi villages and towns by June 30, 2009. Asked at a Pentagon press conference whether that was his understanding, Mullen did not correct the date and, noting that a number of Iraqi provinces have already been turned over to ISF control, said such a shift is “consistent with how we have moved.”

Mullen said he is “delighted” that the Status of Forces Agreement Read the entire Army Times article

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