In talks with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ruled out the extension of the US military presence. The current Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) requires the US to withdraw by the end of December.
US officials have repeatedly pressured Maliki to sign off on an extension that would keep US troops in the country through 2012, and possibly much longer, arguing that the country cannot fend off hypothetical external threats from unnamed enemies.
Maliki, by contrast, told Mullen he believes Iraq’s military is “ready” to provide security. He said the Iraqi government would continue to acquire better weapons but believed the security forces were more than capable of taking responsibility now. The Pentagon has yet to comment.
The decision to allow an extension would have been an extremely dangerous one for Maliki, as one of the key partners in his government, Moqtada al-Sadr, has condemned calls for the US to remain. Sadr even threatened a return to “armed resistance” if US troops tried to stay beyond 2011.
8 thoughts on “Maliki Rules Out US Military Presence in Iraq Past December”
Ha ha ha! As if the US gave a rat's ass about what Maliki wants or thinks.
I think Iraq can manage quite will with Irans help….
We have seen Maliki do this dance before — publicly taking a stand against continued occupation, only to willingly accede as the deadline for a final decision approaches. I don't think this is going to be any different.
The US is NEVER leaving Iraq. Enjoy the Kabuki.
Just like our puppet in Pakistan, this guy is pretending to stand up to his masters in Washington so he'll look good to his countrymen.
The US never leaves any country that it has put troops into.
Good for Malaki.
The sooner the biggest Terrorist Organisation in the World (The USA) is kicked out of the Middle East the sooner some sanity can return to these proud lands
Yes, the filthy Yankee Oil-Pirates still desperately lust to stay and plunder the resources of the Iraqi Nation, but due to the heroic People’s Resistance against the hated War-Criminal Invaders, this putrid dream is now irreparably wrecked like Cheney’s ticker and the bankrupt GoonGenerals will be kicked weeping back to their Pentagon lair amidst the ruins of the rapidly decomposing wannabe Empire.
A respectful salute to all the brave men and women who sacrificed to break the pride of the Global Arrogance and be free from its thieving grasp!
Everyone has a part to play … Rome wasn’t burnt in a day! “;0))
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