President Obama and his administration are making preparations to negotiate with Iraq on a possible long-term defense relationship between the two nations.
Acording to Michele Flournoy, an aide to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the administration is poised to hear Iraqi proposals about how much involvement the US will have, according to a FoxNews report:
“One of the things we’re looking forward to doing is sitting down with the Iraqis in the coming month or two to start thinking about how they want to work with” the U.S. military to develop a program of exercises, training and other forms of security cooperation, Flournoy said.
The U.S. military completed its withdrawal from Iraq in December after nearly nine years of war. Both sides had considered keeping at least several thousand U.S. troops there to provide comprehensive field training for Iraqi security forces, but they failed to strike a deal before the expiration of a 2008 agreement that required all American troops to leave.
Members of the administration, including Vice President Biden are continuing negotiations with members of the Iraqi government in hopes of striking an agreement.