WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday “we’re not claiming victory” in Iraq, but he believes the emerging government in Baghdad is capable of defending itself.


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Interviewed on NBC’s “Today” show from Iraq, Biden was asked about the impact of the U.S. combat troop withdrawal, likely to be complete within weeks. He replied, “This is no rush.”

Biden added that in the three years of the Obama administration, “We’ve done this in a way that nobody thought could be done.”

The vice president said there is no validity now to “the idea that there is sufficient capacity to bring down this government, to fundamentally alter this democratic process that is under way.”

“We’re not claiming victory,” he said. “What we’re claiming here is we’ve done our job the administration said it would do. To end a war we did not start, to end it in a responsible way … and to leave in place the prospect of a trained military, a trained security force under democratic institutions where the disparate parties for the first time are actually working together.”

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