RNA - Since Syria shows the US can actually leave a country, this has brought the question into laser focus. A lot of the political parties have problems with the open-ended US military presence in Iraq, and while some US officials are trying to pass this off as Iran’s agenda, the reality is that US hostility to Iraqi democracy is also driving this interest.
Several political parties are jointly driving the call to settle of some sort of firm timetable for the US pullout, and are even negotiating internally for a bill that would set a firm deadline for all US troops to be out of the country.
President Trump’s December visit, and his refusal to meet the Iraqi premier started this push for the pullout, with many presenting it as a deliberate slight by Trump and a sign of disdain toward the Iraqi government. But that’s not all:
- If you ever needed further evidence that the Trump administration doesn’t give a single good goddamn about the people of Iraq, just listen to what US officials have to say. They have confirmed previous comments by President Trump that the US intends to set up “safe zones” in Northern Syria. Trump has also confirmed what has been reported for a while that the Empire of Chaos intends to keep its thousands of ground troops in Iraq over the long-term - even now that the terrorist group of ISIL has been defeated.
- Pentagon officials have been arguing for a more or less permanent presence, the idea of keeping occupying troops in Iraq on the pretext of preventing ISIL from ever coming back. They present this open-ended deployment as a “stabilization” operation, while admitting that dedicated significant military resources to post-war Iraq for the sake of stability would not amount to “nation-building,” something we are not surprised to hear at all.
- Admittedly, the decision to occupy Iraq forever is not about destroying ISIL or nation-building. Trump officials have emphasized that there would be no “nation-building” afterwards in either Iraq or Syria, though they have reiterated that US troops would remain in both countries after the war. We don't know how it can get much worse.
- Iraq is a cauldron of sectarian communities. Intervention and permanent occupation has a significant probability of igniting a new sectarian conflict and destabilizing the entire nation. The resulting civilian death toll could vastly exceed the previous carnage.
- Unlike the past, the armed forces of Iraq are receiving international support and have actually won the war against ISIL and Al-Qaeda. American intervention and occupation could trigger increased Saudi-led coalition aid to terrorist groups and extremist outfits; they would welcome the US involvement in a new round of proxy war.
Basically, this is not the time for a new Middle Eastern adventure by the United States. For the sake of the Iraqi people, military presence and permanent occupation should be off the table. The plan and the timetable by Iraqi lawmakers for US pullout is based on realistic assumptions, bringing into question America’s basic competency on Iraq's stage. Lest we forget, almost everything the US did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya was a disaster. The US wants to occupy Iraq, and the plan the Trump White House has made on the permanent presence seems to be poorly thought-out and doomed to fail. It has already caused resistance to swell at the Iraqi parliament.