Basically, the Pentagon trying both to push Obama into keeping troops in Iraq for longer than what he said in the campaign. And also to break or get around the recently signed SOFA with Iraq.
For instance, this legal agreement we signed with the Iraqi government says all US forces should be withdrawn from Iraqi cities by next summer. Here's the Pentagon's response ....
One way commanders say they will try to meet that first deadline is by effectively reassigning combat troops to training and support of the Iraqis, even though the difference would be in some cases semantic because armed American troops would still go on combat patrols with their Iraqi counterparts.
The participants at the Chicago meeting did discuss the deadline for all American combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraqi cities by June, as outlined in the agreement with the Iraqi government. A person familiar with the talks said those at the meeting discussed whether the Iraqis would allow “remissioned” combat forces to remain in Iraqi cities after June. Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen did not rule out the idea that Iraqis might permit such troops, the person said.
In a briefing to reporters last week in Balad, Iraq, General Odierno said that some American forces would remain in a support role in Iraqi cities beyond the June deadline. He said that the troops would be deployed at numerous security outposts in urban areas to help support and train Iraqi forces. “We’ll maintain our very close partnership with the Iraqi security forces throughout Iraq even after the summer,” he said.