Iraqi PM Ready to Shake Off U.S.

In his first interview since negotiating an end to the Iraqi parliament’s nine-month political impasse, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said there would be no extension of the deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011, insisting that the country could handle its own security moving forward. "This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alteration. It is sealed,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Maliki said the only chance there would be any U.S. troops in Iraq after the 2011 withdrawal would be if the two countries negotiated an entirely new Status of Forces Agreement, which took a year to work out last time, in 2008, and was strongly opposed by many in Maliki’s own political bloc.