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Iraqi PM: Country needs help protecting borders

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  • Iraqi PM: Country needs help protecting borders

    BAGHDAD Iraq's prime minister said Tuesday that his country does not need U.S. forces to protect its internal security but acknowledged that the country still does not have the money or training to protect its borders.

    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's comments come as the country is struggling to decide whether to ask American troops to stay past their expected Dec. 31 departure date. It's a politically toxic question for the Iraqi leader in a country where many people are nervous about a future without U.S. troops yet its politically unpalatable to ask the Americans to stay longer.
    However the Iraqi leader emphasized that he does not see any regional threats to Iraq's security. Many American proponents of keeping U.S. forces in Iraq point to the threat posed by neighboring Iran.

    "There is no one from Iraq's neighbors who is thinking of sending his troops to Iraq. So, Iraq's sovereignty is protected by the fact that there is nobody in the current circumstances who would violate Iraq's sovereignty," he told reporters at a press conference.

    According to an agreement signed in 2008, all of the roughly 47,000 U.S. forces must be out of Iraq by Dec. 31.