BAGHDAD — The United States’ pleas for Iraq’s government to decide “within weeks” whether American troops should stay beyond a year-end deadline to leave will not be met, Iraqi politicians say, complicating plans for the U.S. military withdrawal.
If the deadline to extend U.S. troop presence is not extended, then (if I’m to understand what the words mean) U.S. troops have to leave, as they’re planning on doing. How does that “complicate” anything? There’s a political problem in Iraq, in that most people don’t want U.S. troops to stay, and politicians there arestruggling with how to satisfy that public demand for ending the occupation. Some political leaders seem to want U.S. troops to stay in some form.
So the lead didn’t make much sense to me, but the fifth paragraph makes things a bit clearer:
A growing chorus of military strategists in Washington would like a deal allowing at least some continued U.S. military presence in Iraq. Amid the broad unrest across the Middle East, they say, a U.S. foothold in Iraq is critical to help ensure stability in that country and to keep Iran and other potential aggressors in check.
So the “complications” are that U.S. elites want to stay in Iraq, and Iraqis don’t want U.S. troops there.