Once again reflecting growing discontent across parliament toward the Maliki government’s attempts to cut them out of major decisions, Iraqi parliamentary speaker Osama al-Nujaifi says the government has told parliament nothing about their plans with respect to US troops staying past the December deadline.
Nujaifi says that Maliki has given no indication of his intentions toward keeping US troops in the nation, nor has he even provided a briefing to parliament about whether or not the Iraqi military is able to protect the country without them.
Maliki has long maintained that the entire question of keeping troops in the nation, beyond a contingent of “trainers,” was entirely up to parliament. Given this it seems particularly odd that parliament hasn’t even been consulted on the matter.
But the Maliki government’s recent attempts at centralizing control, and the comments about “trainers” not requiring a vote, point to an effort to find a way to keep US troops in the nation at his beck and call without what would certainly be a difficult parliament vote.