Gates: U.S. Troops May Stay "for Decades" in Iraq
"Regarding Iraq, Gates is parsimonious with his confidence, noting that ‘the multisectarian democracy has not sunk very deep roots yet.' He stresses, however, that there is bipartisan congressional support for ‘a long-term residual presence' of perhaps 40,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and that the president-elect's recent statements have not precluded that. Such a presence "for decades" has, he says, followed major US military operations since 1945, other than in Vietnam. And he says, ‘Look at how long Britain has had troops in Cyprus.'"