Speaking today Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Obeidi predicted that the US military would stay at least through 2016 because there are incoming arms purchases that will still be arriving through at least that point. The training mission could last far longer. however.
“Maybe endlessly,” Obeidi admitted, adding that there was no reasonable ability of the Iraqi military to operate without American assistance and that the air force wouldn’t have serious capacity to defend its own airspace until at least 2020.
Though the Obama Administration last week declared the war “over” the US still has some 50,000 troops in Iraq, and though they are supposed to be “non-combat” troops they continue to participate in combat missions.
Under the Status of Forces Agreement the troops are supposed to leave at the end of 2011, but US officials are privately admitting that this will almost certainly not happen. A number of Iraqi military officials have floated the 2020 date, but even this seems purely speculative.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Koreas' Olympic Détente Upends US Strategy - January 17th, 2018
- Saudis Transfer $2 Billion to Prop Up Yemeni Allies' Currency - January 17th, 2018
- World Economic Forum Survey Sees More War in 2018 - January 17th, 2018
- Syrian Kurds Urge UN Action to Prevent Turkish Invasion - January 17th, 2018
- Turkey Says Will Attack Unless US Withdraws Support for Syrian Kurds - January 17th, 2018