Panetta Vows ‘Long-Term’ Iraq Relationship

'We've Invested a Lot of Blood In That Country'

In comments released today on the Defense Department’s website, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta insisted that the US was going to have a “long-term” relationship with Iraq no matter what.

“We’ve invested a lot of blood in that country,” Panetta insisted, adding that Iraq now has a “relatively stable democracy.” The comments come just days after the deadliest attacks of the year.

Despite the soaring levels of violence across the nation, the US still seems keen on keeping troops in the nation in an open-ended fashion, reiterating yesterday their hope for an Iraqi government “request” to keep troops there.

But a growing number of Iraqi officials, including Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, are warning that they believe keeping US troops will only make matters worse, and that the best thing the US could do for Iraq’s security is, quite simply, to leave.

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.