A U.S.-Iraq Security Partnership: Avoiding the Pitfalls Just Ahead
The dust of last year’s final campaign to destroy the Islamic State “caliphate” had hardly settled before talk of expelling U.S. forces began to circulate in Iraq’s newly seated Council of Representatives (COR), according to a report from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy:
“This percolating sentiment was unsurprising in a body that for the first time included substantial numbers of often deeply anti-American militia members. Yet it exploded into public view following White House moves that deeply agitated the hypersensitive strain of nationalism blooming within Iraq’s body politic.
“When a subsequent bid to demand that U.S. forces depart gained fifty signatures in parliament, it raised the specter of 2011, when nationalist antipathy was a major factor in dooming a bilateral agreement to keep a small U.S. military presence in the country.
“Whether that happens again depends on the near-term course of the COR’s nationalist sentiment, Iran’s ability to exploit that sentiment, and the tenor of Washington’s reaction.“
(Source: Washington Institute for Near East Policy )