Could Congress stop a Bush administration-brokered deal to garrison U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely
? Not according to General Douglas Lute, the so-called "war czar." Here's Lute at today's gaggle
Q General, will the White House seek any congressional input on this?
GENERAL LUTE: In the course of negotiations like this, it's not -- it is typical that there will be a dialogue between congressional leaders at the negotiating table, which will be run out of the Department of State. We don't anticipate now that these negotiations will lead to the status of a formal treaty which would then bring us to formal negotiations or formal inputs from the Congress.
Q Is the purpose of avoiding the treaty avoiding congressional input?
GENERAL LUTE: No, as I said, we have about a hundred agreements similar to the one envisioned for the U.S. and Iraq already in place, and the vast majority of those are below the level of a treaty.
Lute said the White House intends to conclude negotiations on an enduring security guarantee with the Maliki government in July. Permanent military bases and residual troop levels will be specified in the final accord, he said.