Iraq will not accept any security agreement with the United States unless it includes dates for the withdrawal of foreign forces. The differing stances underscore the intense debate in Baghdad over a deal with Washington that will provide a legal basis for U.S. troops to operate when a U.N. mandate expires at the end of the year.
It will be interesting to see how this debate plays out. It seems, at least at this point, to call into question any suggestion that the Iraqi government is a puppet of the US. I think it illustrates the more reasonable statement that Iraqis realize the need for assistance in providing security but long for the day when they are truly free to manage their own affairs.
[posted with ecto]