Argument: Reports concluding that an early withdrawal from Iraq would be disastrous
- “Iraq Warns Against Early U.S. Withdrawal , Iraq Official Warns That Early U.S. Withdrawal Will Be Disastrous, Defends Progress on Reforms” by NAHAL TOOSI, Associated Press Writer,UNITED NATIONS Jul 20, 2007 (AP) Salih, speaking by video link, warned that an early withdrawal of U.S.-led forces "would cause a disaster for Iraq and the region." He said the way forward for his country was to develop the strength of the Iraqi forces to ensure they are self-reliant."But we need time and space," he said. "We need sustained support from the international community." Last week, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told reporters Iraqi forces were ready for foreign troops to leave "any time they want" comments that likely reflected Iraqi frustration over U.S. criticism of his government. Al-Maliki later sought to soften his remarks, saying Iraq's security force was on the road to taking over from U.S. troops but was not there yet.Outlining the progress already made, Salih noted that a bloc of politicians loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr recently ended its boycott of the government, as did the Iraqi Accordance Front, a 44-member group of Sunni politicians. Communication channels are also being opened with former insurgents as part of the reconciliation process, and progress is being made in investment law and anti-corruption efforts, he said.