The US insists that the situation is “getting better” all the time in Iraq, and today reiterated that they are committed to abiding by their 2008 promise to leave Iraq militarily at the end of December 2011.
At the same time, officials have continued to hint that they would be open to keeping the military there longer, and that Prime Minister Maliki only needs to ask. Likewise, as officials continue to claim combat is “over,” they keep pointing out that it is continuing.
“It’s probably still going to take some time for the government of Iraq to establish the security they want,” noted US commander Lt. Daniel McCord. Indeed the civilian death toll continues to be alarmingly high, rivaling that of Afghanistan despite upbeat US predictions.
And even as officials note that the death toll has dropped somewhat, others are predicting that the current level of violence, still enormous by any standard, is going to linger for years. With the State Department creating its own “army” to fight if the actual Army leaves, it seems the US will still be stuck in this quagmire one way or another.