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US official: no decision on troop levels in Iraq
State Department nominee: no decision yet on how many US troops may remain in Iraq next year
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' A senior State Department nominee is telling Congress that the Obama administration has made no final decision on how many troops it may keep in Iraq beyond the end of this year.

Wendy Sherman told her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday that the issue centers on Iraqi government interest in U.S. military trainers remaining in the country after Dec. 31, when all U.S. troops are to depart under a 2008 U.S.-Iraqi agreement. Sherman is the nominee to become the undersecretary of state for policy.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said the State Department is leading the troop discussions with Iraq. He declined to discuss the internal deliberations. Other officials have said the U.S. is considering a range of options that could leave several thousand troops there beyond 2011.

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