Defying Militias, US Troops Will Stay in Iraq Beyond Dec. 31

Iraqi Army had recently assured pullout date was set

US combat operations in Iraq are scheduled to end December 31. Rumors had been circulating that this would be extended, with Iraq’s military insisting that is absolutely not true, and December 31 is set.

That settles that, until the US chimes in. The Pentagon told Newsweek that US troops will absolutely remain in Iraq beyond the end of December.

Iraqi militia groups were threatening to move against the US if they try to stay beyond the December date. Iraq’s army sought to reassure them this wouldn’t happen.

The Pentagon, it seems, put the conflict back on track. While the Pentagon always drags its feet on a drawdown, its not clear why they’d go out of their way to needle the militias about the occupation.

This once again reflects the Pentagon being tone deaf on the Iraqi public’s growing war-weariness.Even intending to not withdraw by December 31 didn’t have to be publicized, especially just days after Iraq tried to calm the situation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of