Whether he’s emboldened by his “victory” against Sadr’s militias or a host of other reasons we could only guess at, Nouri al-Maliki wants the U.S. to continue to draw down their troops.
I’ll repeat that…the prime minister of Iraq wants U.S. troops to continue to leave his country.
Petraeus wants the U.S. to complete by the end of July the withdrawal of the 20,000 troops that were sent to Iraq last year, leaving about 140,000 in the country. Beyond that, the general proposed a 45-day evaluation period to be followed by an indefinite period of assessment before any further pullouts.
Al-Maliki, however, has said he disagrees with that decision.
The prime minister told Bush during a 20-minute telephone conversation on Wednesday that Iraqi security forces are capable of carrying out their duties and U.S. troops should be pulled out as the situation permits, according to a senior government adviser who sat in on the phone conversation. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the confidential details.
I’m sure how much clearer it can be.