CIA chief expects Iraq to ask U.S. troops to stay

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 09, 2011 1:19 PM
CIA chief expects Iraq to ask U.S. troops to stay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's pick to lead the Pentagon said on Thursday he expected Iraq to ask Washington "at some point" to keep some U.S. troops in the country beyond an end-2011 deadline for their withdrawal.

"It's clear to me that Iraq is considering the possibility of making a request for some kind of (troop) presence to remain there," said Leon Panetta, the outgoing head of the CIA, at a Senate hearing weighing his nomination as U.S. defense secretary.

"I have every confidence that a request like that ... is something I think will be forthcoming at some point."