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Shocker: Iraq Seeks Long Term US Presence

From an appalled Associated Press:

A U.S. soldier (2nd R) dances with new Iraqi police officers in Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad November 25, 2007.

Iraqis may offer US deal to stay longer

By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD – Iraq’s government, seeking protection against foreign threats and internal coups, will offer the U.S. a long-term troop presence in Iraq in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic partnership, two Iraqi officials said Monday.

The proposal, described to The Associated Press by two senior Iraqi officials familiar with the issue, is one of the first indications that the United States and Iraq are beginning to explore what their relationship might look like once the U.S. significantly draws down its troop presence.

In Washington, President Bush’s adviser on the Iraqi war, Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, confirmed the proposal, calling it “a set of principles from which to begin formal negotiations.”

As part of the package, the Iraqis want an end to the current U.N.-mandated multinational forces mission, and also an end to all U.N.-ordered restrictions on Iraq’s sovereignty.

Iraq has been living under some form of U.N. restriction since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the officials said.

U.S. troops and other foreign forces operate in Iraq under a U.N. Security Council mandate, which has been renewed annually since 2003. Iraqi officials have said they want that next renewal — which must be approved by the U.N. Security Council by the end of this year — to be the last…

The new agreement on principles spells out what the formal, final document will contain regarding political, economic and security matters.

“We believe, and Iraqis’ national leaders believe, that a long-term relationship with the United States is in our mutual interest,” Lute said…

The Iraqi officials said that under the proposed formula, Iraq would get full responsibility for internal security and U.S. troops would relocate to bases outside the cities. Iraqi officials foresee a long-term presence of about 50,000 U.S. troops, down from the current figure of more than 160,000.

Haidar al-Abadi, a senior Dawa member of al-Maliki’s Dawa party, told Alhurra television that the prime minister was due to write parliament in the next few days to inform lawmakers that his government would seek the renewal of the mandate of the U.S.-led multinational forces next month for “one last time.” …

One official said the Iraqis expect objections from Iraq’s neighbors. Iran and Syria will object because they oppose a U.S. presence in the region

What’s this?

Aren’t we told daily by our objective watchdog media that the Iraqis can’t wait for us to leave?

Somebody has been pulling our leg(s).

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 26th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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