Iraq: 20,000 US Troops Likely To Stay As “Technical Experts”

Iraq’s Prime Minister al-Maliki was elected on the premise that all American occupying troops will be out of the country by the end of December 2011. However, it appears now that Washington’s man in Baghdad is pushing, in conjunction with the Obama administration, to keep some US troops in Iraq after the deadline.

Last week, at a press conference, al-Maliki stated that “We won’t get unanimous agreement on this issue, but if we get 70 or 80 percent, isn’t that the will of the people?” Al-Maliki, and officials within the US military, are trying to change the narrative. In this new narrative, US troops will not be combat troops anymore, or even military advisers, instead they will be called, by both Baghdad and Washington, “technical experts”. But, for a majority of Iraqis, despite the name change, the 20,000 US troops will remain, de facto, the occupiers.

A big problem for al-Maliki is that, in order to get elected Prime Minister in the first place, he made a deal with people such as cleric al-Sadr. The key element of the alliance between al-Maliki and al-Sadr was that all American troops would leave after the December deadline. Al-Sadr has no intention to let al-Maliki break his commitment on the issue. Last week, tens of thousands of al-Sadr supporters took to the streets of Baghdad, demanding that every American soldiers be gone by the end of the year.

In a recent interview with the BBC, al-Sadr threatened to reactivate his militia, the Mahdi army, if US troops stay. Most analyst in Iraq say a new agreement between Iraq and the US to authorize around 20,000 American troops beyond December is likely. There are currently 50,000 US troops now in Iraq, not counting the many contractors/mercenaries working for the US State Department to guard the Green Zone. If US troops stay in Iraq indefinitely, the next time the Mahdi army marches in Baghdad they are likely to be carrying guns. Attacks against American interests have already increased in recent weeks.



9 Responses to Iraq: 20,000 US Troops Likely To Stay As “Technical Experts”

  1. Josh May 31, 2011 at 12:16 am

    WTF Obama! NO!

  2. KOZ May 31, 2011 at 6:51 am

    While Iraq has made great strides, it is not ready to defend itself yet. The decision to keep some troops and civilians in country as technical experts is a good idea.

  3. Robert May 31, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    The reason for the continued deployment. After having slaughtered, abused and denied justice to so many Iraqui’s, once the US military is gone, so will the supply of oil to the US from Iraq begone and as will any US products.
    Quite simply the 20000 US troops remain as a knife at the throat of the Iraqi government, nothing more and nothing less.

  4. christopher May 31, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Yeah I suppose but do they really expect anyone to fall for that? I dont care if they want to call them the Richard Simmons Jazzercise Crew, they are still our troops in Iraq. Its pretty clear when someone says “remove all US troops from Iraq.” That means ALL, regardless of title. Its offensive that this plan is even being considered.

  5. dylan May 31, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Of course they’ll fall for it. Just like they fell for Libya being a “limited role” so the War Powers Act need not apply to Obama anymore.

  6. samuel May 31, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Well not having ground troops and pulling out of air strikes in Libya makes that at least arguable.

    Having US troops in Iraq after someone says. “I intend to remove all US troops in Iraq.” is completely inexcusable.

  7. justin May 31, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Ha ha, and you believed him…can you say Gitmo. 8% unemployment, change we can believe in, Patriot Act, Rendition, New Era of Cooperation, Low Cost Health Care for everyone and I could go on and on…when will some people figure out Obama is just another Chicago politician… As much as I disliked Bush, at least he was what he was and did not pretend to be something else….

  8. kriti shah June 2, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Obama is acting as a dictator.US troops has no right to stay in Iran.How americans will feel if the iraqi troops will stay inside their country?

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