Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff is planning on meeting soon with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq. Later Mullen will visit U.S. military installations and talk with the U.S. military forces before they begin the year long process of ending their mission in Iraq.
There is an agreement between the U.S. and Iraq for the U.S. to be out of Iraq by the end of year 2011. However the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has stated that the U.S. would be willing to consider the possibility of continuing U.S. presence in Iraq if Iraqi officials request it.
According to Nouri al-Maliki, however, he sees the agreement being fulfilled, as he believes that the Iraqi military is quite capable of taking care of its own security. The tenuousness of the situation, however, was underscored the day before Mullen’s visit when a suicide bomber murdered 17 people outside government offices in Baghdad.