Iraq And US Continue Debate Over Treaty

Iraq government officials are still engaged in discussions with the United States over final details about the proposed treaty which would govern the continued presence of American forces and their role in military operations. American officials are close to an agreement but they disagree with Iraq requests to have legal control over American soldiers and contractors. Iraqi lawmakers insist these changes are necessary in order to win parliamentary approval of any security pact. They want to control actions by soldiers and contractors when they are off duty and have the right to place them on trial if they violate the law.

Unless an agreement is reached before the end of the year, US military operations would have to cease. Iraq demands that its territory could not be used as a staging area in order to attack another nation– most likely their concern is over any American attack on Iran. The dilemma for Iraq is the need for American troops for at least another year, but they also want to be in charge of their own nation.