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After weeks of relative calm, two questions are being asked in war-torn Iraq and in the United States:
Will it last? And when can American forces start coming home?
It's increasingly reasonable to assume that Iraq's security environment will continue to improve — slowly, maybe at the margins and with the chance that things could go south fast.
Generals and politicians avoid responding directly to questions about troop withdrawals because an answer would determine whether America stays here indefinitely as an occupier or leaves in a way yet to be decided.
In a letter to Congress, dovetailing with yesterday's testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, thirty-one Iraqi legislators, representing a majority of the Iraq Parliament, have expressed "widespread disapproval of the proposed U.S.-Iraq security agreement if it does not include a specific timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. military troops."