U.S. says time short for Iraq to request troops stay

WASHINGTON Tue Jul 5, 2011 7:15pm EDT

U.S. soldiers collect their bags before loading into vehicles as they prepare to hand over their base to Iraqi forces in Iraq's southern province of Basra June 22, 2011. REUTERS/Atef Hassan

U.S. soldiers collect their bags before loading into vehicles as they prepare to hand over their base to Iraqi forces in Iraq's southern province of Basra June 22, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Atef Hassan

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday said time was running short for Iraq to issue a request for U.S. troops to stay in the country beyond the end of this year.

"We are waiting ... to see whether or not the Iraqi government makes a request of us. That has not happened. We are obviously now in July," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

He said U.S. troops were on track to leave Iraq by December 31, in accordance with a bilateral security pact, unless the government asked soon for troops to stay.

Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in April that Iraqi had only weeks to make the request to avoid a "physics problem" of moving 47,000 troops and related equipment.

"There is only so much time here available for the Iraqi government to make such a request," Carney said on Tuesday.

"If they do we will consider it, otherwise we are keeping on schedule."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Laura MacInnis; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Comments (6)
majkmushrm wrote:
Could someone please explain to me why we are so frantic to be able to leave troops in Iraq and throw even more good money after bad?

Jul 05, 2011 8:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
kc10man wrote:
Time to go! They don’t need us anymore! And no, we did not take any of your oil. We just needed an excuse to give 2 trillion dollars to the military industrial complex.

Good luck with the democracy.

Jul 06, 2011 2:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
d3v wrote:
Oh no why aren’t the natives asking the foreign invaders to stay? How rude of them! We should never have bombed their country to hell!

Jul 06, 2011 2:31am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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