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Operation Iraqi Freedom: Preliminary Observations on DOD Planning for the Drawdown of U.S. Forces from Iraq

GAO-10-179 Published: Nov 02, 2009. Publicly Released: Nov 02, 2009.
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The United States and the Government of Iraq have signed a Security Agreement calling for the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq. Predicated on that agreement and U.S. Presidential guidance, Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) has issued a plan for the reduction of forces to 50,000 U.S. troops by August 31, 2010, and a complete withdrawal of forces by the end of 2011. The drawdown from Iraq includes the withdrawal of approximately 128,700 U.S. troops, over 115,000 contractor personnel, the closure or transfer of 295 bases, and the retrograde of over 3.3 million pieces of equipment. Today's statement will focus on (1) the extent to which the Department of Defense (DOD) has planned for the drawdown in accordance with timelines set by the Security Agreement and presidential directive; and (2) factors that may impact the efficient execution of the drawdown in accordance with established timelines. This statement is based on GAO's review and analysis of DOD and MNF-I plans, and on interviews GAO staff members conducted with DOD officials in the United States, Kuwait, and Iraq. It also draws from GAO's extensive body of issued work on Iraq and drawdown-related issues.

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