US military presence in Iraq beyond 2011 'almost certain'

Iraq is still very dependent on US for military expertise and equipment amid sectarian tensions; approximately 10,000 troops may remain.

September 5, 2010 10:33
1 minute read.
A US armored vehicle in Iraq

US armored vehicle in Iraq. (photo credit: Associated Press)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The US will probably keep thousands of soldiers in Iraq beyond the official departure date of end 2011, despite US President Barack Obama's official announcement last week marking the end of the US combat mission, AFP reported Sunday.

American officials, speaking off the record, said that extension will likely happen as a result of the need to aid Iraq's military amid sectarian tensions.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Iraq on highest alert for terror attacks
Analysis: Stuck in the Middle (East) with you

Just under 50,000 US troops remain in Iraq — down from a peak of nearly 170,000 at the height of the military surge in 2007. Those troops will be focused on training and assisting the Iraqi military, and will no longer be allowed to go on combat missions unless requested and accompanied by Iraqi forces.

The fear of political divisions, aggravated by the struggle for control of Iraq's oil potential, is ever present. Some Iraqis worry that without the American soldiers, their country will revert to a dictatorship or split along religious and ethnic fault lines.

US military officials say the reduction in troop numbers doesn't hinge on Iraq forming a new government, but on the ability of Iraqi forces to handle security on their own.

The dwindling US military presence has deepened concerns that Iraq will be taken over by its neighbors — namely Iran — who many think is waiting to fill the power vacuum created by the departing Americans.


According to the report, approximately 10,000 troops could remain in Iraq beyond the end of next year. These would not necessarily all be soldiers in uniform, but could also be security officials and special forces.

The US may also need to provide equipment the Iraqi military is severely lacking such as helicopters and fighter jets.

AP contributed to this report

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

ISRAEL AIR FORCE Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin (second right) meets with senior Russian official
September 21, 2018
Netanyahu to Nasrallah: Want a fight? You’ll get ‘unimaginable’ response