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US cmdr spells out Iraq mission under new pact

Dec 5 11:08 AM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer Write a Comment

BAGHDAD (AP) - A security pact that sets a timetable for troops to leave Iraq requires a shift in how the U.S. carries out combat missions during its remaining time in the country, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq said Friday.
Gen. Ray Odierno said in a written statement to troops that they would be receiving new rules of engagement but that there would be no change to their ability to protect themselves and the multinational force.

The security pact, "though, will require a subtle shift in how we plan, coordinate and execute combat missions throughout Iraq," Odierno said, adding that under the new terms of agreement, U.S. troops will coordinate and execute all operations with the approval of the Iraqi government and implement them through the Iraqi security forces.

Odierno released the statement a day after Iraq's three-member presidential council signed off on the pact, removing the last legal barrier so that the agreement can take effect Jan. 1.

The security pact requires U.S. troops leave Iraq by January 1, 2012. It also requires American soldiers to withdraw from Iraqi cities by the end of June 2009.

Under the agreement, Iraq will gain strict oversight over the nearly 150,000 American troops now on the ground, representing a step toward full sovereignty for Iraq and a shift from the sense of frustration and humiliation that many Iraqis have felt at the presence of American troops on their soil for so many years. "

I for one am opposed to American troops being under strict oversight by anyone other than their chain of commandl.
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