Countries in the neighborhood want US to stay in Iraq
AP via Washington Times:
In the troubled region surrounding Iraq, a frequent question posed to the top U.S. military officer visiting the area was not when his troops will pull out of Iraq, but how long they will stay.Iran was probably not on his trip tick.
From the glittery king's palace in Saudi Arabia to the devastated slopes of the Pakistani mountainside and a staid Turkish symposium, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sought last week to ease concerns about whether opposition to the war at home could pressure U.S. forces to leave Iraq before it is stable.
"I think it's fair to say that in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, there is a clear desire for the U.S. to stay with it until the job is done -- which, coincidentally, is how we look at it," Gen. Pace said Sunday as he left Istanbul for Washington.
On his first diplomatic-oriented trip since the fall, Gen. Pace traveled to three countries whose leaders are worried about the U.S. commitment to the Iraq war and the global war on terror. Failure to secure Iraq could inspire insurgencies in their countries and instability in the region, where terrorism is a familiar threat.
Their fears are stoked by the American public's growing impatience with a war that has claimed the lives of more than 2,300 U.S. troops and the persistent calls from members of Congress for an exit strategy.
"I told them that from the U.S. military's viewpoint, we would stay with the mission until we got the job done," Gen. Pace said.