Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Friday, July 8, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Mullen warns U.S. will not ignore Iran campaign against American troops in Iraq

WASHINGTON — The United States has maintained its schedule to withdraw from Iraq in late 2011.


Officials said the administration of President Barack Obama has not received any formal Iraqi request for a delay in the U.S. military withdrawal in December. They said the remaining 47,000 troops would begin leaving Iraq by October.

"We continue to say that if Iraq were interested in some residual U.S. presence staying in Iraq, we would be willing to have that conversation," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. "But at this point, we have not had a request."

Also In This Edition

Congress has urged the White House to consider a plan to maintain 10,000 troops in Iraq to continue training programs as well as serve as a rapid response force to internal or external threat, Middle East Newsline reported. But officials said the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has signaled that Baghdad would not make such a formal request despite the increasing threat from neighboring Iran.

"We have grave concerns about what Iran has been doing in terms of supplying weaponry and trying to stir up violence in Iraq — trying to exploit the current situation," Ms. Nuland said on July 6.

"That said, we have a lot of confidence in Iraqi security forces and in their ability to maintain security in Iraq."

Officials said the U.S. military would retain some advisers in Iraq after the withdrawal. But they said Iraq was expected to take full control over all aspects of military and police training in 2012.

"From our perspective, we continue to work with them on the full range of issues, including the security situation and the security situation as we head towards the end of the year and the withdrawal of the remainder of forces," Ms. Nuland said.

Officials said the U.S. military was pressing the administration to press for the end of Iranian weapons smuggling to Iraq. On July 7, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Adm. Michael Mullen, said Washington could not ignore Iran's insurgency campaign, particularly in southern Iraq, against U.S. troops. As he was speaking, two U.S. soldiers were killed by an Iranian-designed bomb outside a base in Baghdad.

"Iran is very directly supporting extremist Shia groups which are killing our troops," Mullen told a briefing. "And there's no reason for me to believe that they're going to stop that as our numbers come down. There's no question they want to influence, and particularly in the south. They are shipping high-tech weapons in there."


"Iran is very directly supporting extremist Shia groups which are killing our troops," Mullen told a briefing. Tragically, but truthfully, what Mullen could have added was, "There's no reason to believe that The US under Obama's leadership will do anything about it." [Do not publish email address]

John Sneddon      2:37 p.m. / Sunday, July 10, 2011

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.