US Commander Predicts New Iraqi Govt to Ask Troops to Stay Past 2011

Iraqi Military 'Unsustainable' Without US Military Presence

Despite the hype, the Iraqi War remains far from over and the 50,000 US troops still on the ground in Iraq are all that is keeping Iraq’s fledgling military propped up, according to military commanders on the ground.

Their logistics systems are just, at this point, way below what their tactical competence requires,” insisted Col. Steven Apland, adding that he expects the new government to request US troops to stay beyond the end of 2011.

Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, the new second in command for US troops in Iraq, echoed this opinion, saying that “the Iraqi government are looking at some of the gaps they are going to have in their capabilities in December 2011 and they are concerned about it.”

Of course six months after the election this “new Iraqi government” still hasn’t been formed, but the comments from the US military personnel on the ground point to a reality far different from that of the canned speeches of top officials here in the US, who maintain that the war ended at some point in the past couple of weeks and that the troops still there, if mentioned at all, are just doing some sort of training.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.