U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is pressing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top government officials to decide whether they want to extend the U.S. military’s presence in the country beyond the planned Dec. 31 troop withdrawal deadline. Gates told Iraq’s leaders that the U.S. is willing to stay beyond the deadline if invited but emphasized that Iraq must decide soon because the U.S. military is also engaged in Afghanistan, Japan and Libya, The Wall Street Journal says.

“Time’s running out in Washington, because we’ve got a lot going on around the world,” the newspaper quotes Gates.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.