Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in a Wall Street Journal interview said it is settled that U.S. troops in Iraq will not remain after 2011, the newspaper reported Dec. 28. He said Iraq rejects being drawn into “an axis or an orbit,” adding that there is “paranoia” about an alliance with Iran, as well as fear by Tehran about U.S. influence. Al-Maliki said American soldiers could only stay beyond 2011 if the countries negotiate, with approval from the Iraqi parliament, a new Status of Forces Agreement. He said full withdrawal of U.S. troops would remove a primary motivation for militants.
Source : STRATFOR