Washington warns Iraq to accept security deadline

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration is warning of "real" security consequences for Iraq if it rejects a newly negotiated security pact.

Without a security deal, the U.S. would have no legal basis to continue military operations in Iraq after December.

The White House says Iraqi forces aren't yet able to keep the peace without the help of U.S. forces. Spokeswoman Dana Perino says "the Iraqis know that," so the White House is "confident" something can be worked out.

A Pentagon spokesman says a fallback position would involve extending the U.N. Security Council mandate authorizing U.S.-led coalition operations in Iraq. But he says the Bush administration would prefer a U.S.-Iraqi agreement.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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