Top commander says U.S. could have military presence in Iraq after 2011

08:41, August 23, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 


U.S soldiers take up position during a patrol in Kerbala, 80 km south of Baghdad July 17, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Top U.S. commander in Iraq Ray Odierno said on Sunday that the United States could have a military presence in Iraq well after 2011 when all U.S. troops are set to leave.

Less than two weeks before the scheduled end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq, Odierno told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday talk show "State of the Union" that he could imagine a scenario where "we could be there beyond 2011."

Asked where he could foresee a scenario that there would be some U.S. military presence after the 2011 deadline in Iraq, Odierno replied, "If the government of Iraq requests some technical assistance in fielding, systems that allow them to continue to protect themselves, some external threats. We could be here."

"We have agreements like that in Saudi Arabia. We have agreements like that in Egypt. That continues to help them to develop their infrastructure and security architecture. And if that's what we're talking about, potentially, we could be there beyond 2011," said Odierno.

During the same interview, Odierno said he thought Iraqi security forces were on track to be ready for the planned withdrawal of all U.S. forces next year.

"My assessment today is ... they will be" ready for next year's withdrawal, he said

Earlier this week, the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division left Iraq in a move that many saw as symbolizing the end of U.S. combat operations in that country. The formal change in mission is set for Sept. 1.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:燕勐)

  • Do you have anything to say?
  • Staff members watch a screen showing the blast-off of the Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao watches the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang, are also present. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

  • The graphics shows the launch procedures of the carrier rocket of Tiangong-1 space lab module, Long March-2FT1 on Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Lu Zhe)
  • Image taken from Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows a Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasting off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua)
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90852/7113518.pdf