President Bush today agreed to an "enduring" economic, political, and military relationship with Iraq, laying the foundation for a long-term US presence. The deal replaces the UN mandate currently governing US troops, restoring some measure of Iraqi sovereignty. Iraqis envision 50,000 US troops providing security in exchange for preferential treatment for US investments, the AP reports.
"Iraq is increasingly able to stand on its own, but it won't have to stand alone," said war adviser Douglas Lute, who declined to say what a long-term military commitment might look like. Details will be hashed out next year, and a final document is hoped for by July, when the US is expected to finish its drawdown to pre-surge levels.