Analysis: Last US hope to stay in Iraq apparently forlorn

Analysis: Last US hope to stay in Iraq apparently forlorn

While in the last round of the strategic talks between Baghdad and Washington on July 26, the two sides announced they agreed on the American withdrawal from Iraq by year's end, recently the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dana Stroul told Aljazeera that the Iraqi government urged the American forces to stay in Iraq.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): While in the last round of the strategic talks between Baghdad and Washington on July 26, the two sides announced they agreed on the American withdrawal from Iraq by year's end, recently the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dana Stroul told Aljazeera that the Iraqi government urged the American forces to stay in Iraq. 

The comments are coming while over the past years the Iraqi public and political parties with various views raised as a national demand the exit of the US forces from the Arab country. So, claims by an American military officials about the government request from the Americans to stay can prove a new challenging issue in the Iraqi political scene. 

Doubts regarding the form of Baghdad request from Washington 

The fact that Stroul explicitly mentioned the Iraqi government's request for US troops to remain, raises two major doubts. First, she did not specify if the request was formal and from the government or it was informal and made by a person in the government. 

Second, she did not make clear the nature of the request; whether it is for advisors or it is for combat forces and their arms and equipment in such major military bases as Ein Al-Assad. That the Iraqi government talked about stay of the American advisors under the NATO mission is nothing hidden and there is no doubt that such demand was made. But the request about the US stay with the current big number of the combat forces looks unlikely given the heavy anti-American atmosphere in the Iraqi public. Even if such request is made, there are consequences to it in the politics and governance. 

US stay in Iraq and the three issues ahead 

Assuming that the comments by the American military official to Aljazeera are true, three issues present themselves: 

Iraqi government under parliamentary obligation to expel the US: Even if the claims of the Iraqi government requesting the US to remain in Iraq are confirmed, it is important to note that the expulsion of foreign troops is beyond the will of one person or a cabinet head and has two levels of legal backing. At the primary level, on January 5, 2020, the Iraqi parliament approved by a majority vote the bill to expel foreign troops, and any prime minister is under obligation to implement the law. At the second level, the strategic agreement between Baghdad and Washington in July 2021 confirmed the withdrawal of US troops by the end of this year. Therefore, the Iraqi government is basically obliged to implement such an agreement by the end of this year, namely within next 40 days. 

Iraqi parties united over US expulsion: In the recent parliamentary election, the anti-American factions won the largest number of seats. Sadrist Movement and the Shiite Coordination Framework (SCF) may differ over the government formation but they are firmly united in voice about the need to expel the American occupying forces from the country. So, the new prime minister, no matter from which faction and with what mindset, needs to put as top priority the expulsion of the American forces from Iraq. 

Confirming that the attack on al-Kadhimi’s house was faked: Any call by the government for the Americans to keep their forces supports the hypothesis that the US had hands in designing the apparently staged attack on the house of Prime Minister two weeks ago. That within this short time the US government reports such a request confirms the fact that the attack scenario was arranged as part of efforts to keep the American troops in Iraq against the Iraqi public will and as the last attempt by Washington. But it should be taken into consideration that the Iraqi political community follows the developments aware of the scenario and its designers. With such remarks by an American official, it seems that the al-Kadhimi’s chance for retaining the post would diminish even further.



/129


Related Articles

Post your comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*