Dempsey: Troops could stay in Iraq past December

Thursday - 4/14/2011, 5:48pm EDT

The Army's new uniformed leader says his military branch is ready to keep soldiers in Iraq beyond December. That's when all U.S. forces are supposed to leave that country.

Chief of Staff General Martin Dempsey says that if the Iraqi government still needs help, the Army will find a way to provide it. That could include anything from air defense to professional military education.

The U.S. has about 47,000 troops in Iraq, mostly in advisory roles and helping Iraqi security forces.

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