7 April 2011
"I think there is interest in having a continuing presence, but the politics are such that we'll just have to wait and see because the initiative ultimately has to come from the Iraqis," Mr Gates said during a question-and-answer session with some of the 200 soldiers stationed at the Camp Liberty US base.
BBC News - Robert Gates: US Iraq troops 'could stay longer'
Signs are mounting that some U.S. forces could remain in Iraq after President Barack Obama's declared December 31 full withdrawal date.
The latest sign comes from Leon Panetta, Obama's choice to be the next U.S. secretary of defense.
During a Senate confirmation hearing on his nomination on June 9, he said, "I think it's clear to me that Iraq is considering the possibility of making a request for some kind of presence to remain there."
U.S. Troops Look Set To Stay In Iraq Beyond 2011 - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2011