If Iraqi Govt Asks, US Likely to Stay Past 2011
Speaking today in Malaysia, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates raised the prospect of the Obama Administration keeping the Iraq War going past the 2011 deadline negotiated by the Bush Administration in the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).
Though President Obama made much of the fake ends to the Iraq War in August, some 50,000 US troops remain on the ground, and despite being formally renamed “non-combat” troops they continue to engage in combat missions and receive combat pay.
Of course the real roadblock to this plan of keeping the war going is that Iraq doesn’t actually have a government right now – eight months after the election they still have a caretaker government with no authority to ask the US to continue its occupation. Gates says he expects the new government, assuming one is formed, to wait a few months before asking the US to stay.
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