Speaking today on ABC’s “This Week,” Gen. Ray Odierno predicted that Iraq’s major parties would make significant progress toward forming a new government before the September 1 date for the US to “end combat operations.”
The prediction comes despite the fact that, over five months after the March 7 vote, no party seems any closer to forming a coalition government, and also despite the fact that the “end of combat operations” will be nothing of the sort, as US troops will continue to engage in combat operations.
According to Odierno, the 50,000 US troops predicted to be in the nation of September 1 wlll have to remain to “ensure that this government can be formed” and that they will also be there to prevent foreign influence in the process.
The second claim is somewhat incredible, as virtually every nation with a vested interest in this government has repeatedly chimed in, with President Obama pushing Ayatollah Sistani to impose a government which would largely be in keeping with the Shi’ite dominated government that Iran is also pushing for.
At the moment it seems that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s bid for a second term will fail, with both the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) and Iraqiya rejecting him as a candidate.
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