Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is supporting a plan that would keep 3,000 to 4,000 American troops in Iraq after a deadline for their withdrawal at year’s end, but only to continue training security forces there, a senior military official said on Tuesday.
Now one of the big questions is force protection. Sadrists and other Iran-backed militias said if any US military personnel are going to stay beyond 2011 then "there will be war." It seems there are 3 logical options:
1)You can keep a force that can defend against such threats, or
2)Demand that the Iraqi government makes a commitment to take decisive action to neutralize that threat, or
3)Find a way to assist Iraq without exposing your people to danger.