Iraqi president says country still needs Americans

AP News
Posted: Nov 25, 2011 2:25 PM
Iraqi president says country still needs Americans

Iraq's president says his country faces huge shortcomings defending its airspace and seas, and that Iraqi military commanders want American military training help.

In an interview with Iraqi state TV broadcast Friday, Jalal Talabani said he's read numerous reports by senior Iraqi army officers who all said the nation needs some sort of U.S. presence.

The U.S. and Iraq failed to agree on whether to keep American troops in Iraq into next year, and the U.S. military will pull out all its troops from the country by January.

Iraqi officials balked at giving the American forces the legal protections that Washington wanted.

Talabani is a Kurd from northern Iraq. The Kurds were the only political group in Iraq openly supporting a further American military presence in Iraq.