U.S. Army soldiers prepare for a joint patrol with the Iraqi Army at an area near their military base in Kut, southeast of Baghdad

U.S. Army soldiers prepare for a joint patrol with the Iraqi Army at an area near their military base in Kut, southeast of Baghdad September 20, 2011. U.S troops are scheduled to pull out of the country by the end of this year, according to a 2008 security pact between the United States and Iraq. Picture taken September 20, 2011. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ – Tags: CONFLICT MILITARY POLITICS)