Tuesday, February 23, 2010

General Odierno: troop withdrawal could be delayed "if we run into problems"

According to an article by Craig Whitlock of The Washington Post published Monday, Feb 22 at the Seattle Times online, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Army General Ray Odierno, said Monday that the planned withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces by the end of August could be delayed if conditions worsen amid election turmoil.

The United States, according to the article, has about 96,000 troops in Iraq. Under an agreement negotiated under former President George W. Bush, all combat troops are to leave the country by Aug. 31, although some 50,000 will remain behind to help train Iraqi security forces. The remaining support troops are to be gone by the end of 2011.

At a news conference at the Pentagon, Odierno said he still expected to carry out the original plan but wanted to be prepared if Iraq experiences fresh instability in the aftermath of national elections scheduled for March 7.

Jeremiah warned of "instability": "I shall set fire to his cities, and it shall devour all his environs" (Jer 50:32). And because of that, the invaders will leave, not because of an agreed to timetable of withdrawal, but out of frustrated abandonment: "We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed; forsake her and let us each go to his own country, for her judgment has reached to heaven and towers to the very skies" (Jer 51:9).

Will March 7 be when the cities burn?

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