With U.S. Pullout, Iraq Takes Ownership of Its War

After six years of combat, U.S. troops are being redeployed out of Iraqi cities and towns — because the Iraqi government has insisted on it. For better or worse, it's Iraq's war now

Karim Kadim / AP

Iraqi security forces celebrate the departure of U.S. troops in Ramadi

The decision to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq's cities on June 30 was made by Iraqis, not Americans. That's why the Iraqi government is holding a massive celebration to mark the redeployment as National Sovereignty Day. At the insistence of Iraqis, the Status of Forces Agreement, which was concluded late last year between the Iraqi government and the Bush Administration, required that U.S. troops be out of Iraq's urban areas by June 30, 2009, and withdrawn from the country altogether by the end of 2011. Now, Iraqi citizens and the American forces hovering in Iraq's countryside are holding their...

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