Small Wars Journal

Maliki Open to Renegotiating Withdrawal Timeline

Iraqi Prime Minister Open to Renegotiating Withdrawal Timeline - Spencer Ackerman, Washington Independent.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki opened the door for the first time Wednesday to the prospect of a U.S. military presence in Iraq after the December 2011 deadline for troop withdrawal set by last year's bilateral accord - something President Obama appeared to rule out during a joint appearance on Tuesday.

Speaking to an audience at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, Maliki said the accord, known as the Status of Forces Agreement, would "end" the American military presence in his country in 2011, but "nevertheless, if Iraqi forces required further training and further support, we shall examine this at that time based on the needs of Iraq," he said through translation in response to a question from The Washington Independent. "I am sure that the will, the prospects and the desire for such cooperation is found among both parties."

Maliki continued, "The nature of that relationship - the functions and the amount of [U.S.] forces - will then be discussed and reexamined based on the needs" of Iraq...

More at The Washington Independent.