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Friday, 31 July 2009

US stay in Iraq stinks 'like fish', says memo

A top US military adviser says Iraqi forces are now able to protect the government, admitting that US troops are no longer welcome in Iraq.

In an unusually blunt memo, Col. Timothy R. Reese details the deficiency roots of the Iraqi army, but admits that any the US military presence beyond August 2010 will do little to improve their performance while deepening resentment of Americans.

"As the old saying goes, 'Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days,' " Colonel Reese wrote. "Since the signing of the 2009 Security Agreement, we are guests in Iraq, and after six years in Iraq, we now smell bad to the Iraqi nose."

A spokeswoman for the senior US commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, however, said that the memo did not reflect the military's official stance and that some of the problems mentioned in the memo had been solved recently. More