U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, testified before Congress that American troops will stay in Iraq beyond 31st December 2008. Crocker says this is to ensure the next U.S. president will have a solid basis for making policy decisions when s/he takes office.
To help support this statement, Crocker indicated while Al-Qaeda is on the retreat in Iraq, the terrorist group has not fully been defeated.
Hence, Crocker says, the U.S. cannot allow Al-Qaeda a second chance to establish a secure presence in the Middle Eastern country. Crocker says Iraq has the potential to become a stable democracy but it will need to work continuously on improving its infrastructure both economically and in regards to climate control.
While progress in Iraq appears somewhat slow, Crocker says the U.S. must stay on its current course since ultimately the world will judge America on what “will happen [rather] than what has happened.”