Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday night that Washington still needs to discuss with the Iraqi government the details of the troop withdrawal. President Obama announced earlier Friday that all U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of 2011—prompting many to wonder what role the U.S. will take, especially after the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, said earlier this year that Iraq is not fully capable of protecting itself. Iraq rejected the U.S.’s proposal to keep military bases in that country, and the U .S. and Iraq have not agreed yet how many U.S. military personnel will be at the embassy in Baghdad. Panetta likened the future Iraq to Bahrain, where there are nearly 5,000 troops as part of the Navy’s 5th Fleet headquarters.
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