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W6nnews.com ==== وطن === تاريخ النشر – 2021-08-07 08:51:11
Baghdad/ Al Noor News
A few days ago, Iraq held a strategic dialogue with the United States with the aim of regulating the relationship between the two countries, which raised questions about the nature of the final American decision regarding the presence of its combat forces in Iraq, and Washington’s upcoming strategy in Iraq.
This raises questions about the nature of the American withdrawal from the country, and whether it will include all its forces from the country, or whether it will keep a part inside the Iraqi bases, especially since the strategic dialogue rounds emphasize the permanent relationship between the two countries and cooperation with regard to confronting ISIS.
In the report below, “Al-Nour News” reviews the answers to the questions raised in the Iraqi arena:
The issue of ending the American presence in Iraq dates back to a strategic agreement between the two countries held in 2008 and implemented in 2011, before Baghdad requested in 2014 the return of American forces after ISIS invaded vast areas of north and northwest Iraq, to continue since then the maneuvers between the factions. Armed with US forces inside Iraqi territory.
The first round of strategic dialogue between Baghdad and Washington was held last June, while the second was held in August 2020.
The previous two rounds included taking steps on the path to reducing US forces, following continuous pressure from Iraqi political parties against the foreign presence in the country.
In the third round of dialogue, Iraq agreed with the United States to withdraw the last American combat forces present on its soil, where they are still deployed, to counter ISIS.
In a joint statement at the conclusion of the third round of strategic dialogue between them via video communication technology, the two countries confirmed that “the mission of the United States and the coalition forces has turned into a training and advisory mission, which will subsequently allow the redeployment of any combat force still in Iraq, provided that the timetable for this is determined within future talks.”
During the fourth round, the official announcement that about 2,500 US soldiers would remain in Iraq came during Biden’s meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi at the White House, with the modification of its mission to focus on training, logistical and advisory support for Iraqi forces while limiting the combat role of US forces.
What is the significance of the last round?
These agreements are of great importance, given the difficult economic conditions that Iraq suffers from. According to World Bank data, there are about 15 million unemployed people in Iraq, 10 million people living below the poverty line, 4 million people living in slums, 6 million orphaned children who suffer harsh conditions due to wars, in addition to the spread of illiteracy and ignorance among 8 million citizens. .
Also, the high debt to 134 billion dollars and the financial deficit to 100 billion dollars, all because of the failed policies of the previous Iraqi governments that did not adopt a comprehensive strategy to build the Iraqi economy and society; Therefore, today it is assumed the adoption of an open market economy and giving way to national and international investments to invest in natural resources, whose value is estimated at 20 trillion dollars, so that the Iraqi people can enjoy prosperity and prosperity instead of poverty, unemployment and wars.
The final round of the dialogue resulted in the formulation of foundations for the relations of the two countries in the next stage, in line with their interests, in a way that helps Iraq in particular to confront the internal and regional challenges it is facing, as Iraq needs American support to reform the economic and social conditions as well as to confront terrorism. The combat missions of the military forces in the country and the provision of advice and training would help achieve a kind of internal security stability.
Is there another American presence?
The American presence in Iraq is not limited to these forces. The United States has a wide participation within NATO, which decided last February to increase the number of its forces in the country to 4 thousand, while Washington said that it would contribute its fair share in this mission. .
The Pentagon has opened the door to the possibility of sending more American forces to Iraq as part of the expanded training mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with the aim of supporting Iraqi forces and ensuring that ISIS does not return to activity.
“The United States is participating in NATO operations in Iraq and will contribute its fair share to this expanded mission,” said Jessica McNulty, a spokeswoman for the department, in previous statements, adding that “the United States and its partners in the international coalition to defeat ISIS are committed to ensuring the defeat of this organization.”
The United States has a presence on several levels in Iraq, such as companies working in the security fields, as well as within the international coalition forces, and the NATO mission, as well as the diplomatic presence, which is the largest of its kind, due to the space and multiplicity of the functions of the American embassy in the country, as well as the presence In the Iraqi airspace, and control almost completely.
How did the Iraqi interior view the agreement?
Internally, Iraqi political and popular circles welcomed the final outcomes of the fourth round of the strategic dialogue between Baghdad and Washington, while the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, called on the armed factions to stop attacks against diplomatic missions and facilities.
Iraqi political blocs expressed their support for the Iraqi negotiating delegation, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, where the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, called, last Monday, to stop military action by what he called “the resistance” until the completion of the withdrawal of US forces.
Al-Sadr said in a statement: “Thank you to the Iraqi national resistance, here is the occupation announcing the start of the withdrawal of its combat forces as a whole.
He added, “Knowing that we have stated conditions in the past, and with their realization, the military action of the resistance must be stopped at all… and efforts to support the Iraqi security forces, including the army and the police, to restore security and extend it on Iraqi lands and banish the specter of terrorism, violence, intruders and pretenders of resistance.”
Although the armed factions attacked the outcomes of the visit, even before its issuance, and refused to abide by any results that might come from it, the Al-Fateh Alliance, which is the political umbrella for these factions, welcomed this agreement, and considered it a national achievement.
The coalition said in a statement: “It welcomes the national achievement of the Iraqi negotiator by agreeing to the complete exit of combat forces at the end of this year, and considers it a positive and advanced step towards achieving full national sovereignty.”
The coalition statement added, “We hope that the concerned officials in the Iraqi state will follow up on the implementation of what was agreed upon in a practical way, and all thanks and appreciation to the Iraqi negotiator for this national achievement.”
What did the Sunnis and the Kurds say?
For his part, the leader of the “Azm” coalition headed by Khamis al-Khanjar welcomed the outcomes of the strategic dialogue, while noting that this counts to Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi and the negotiating delegation.
In a statement, Al-Khanjar expressed his support for “any step towards organizing the relationship with the United States in a way that serves Iraq, and supports our forces with training and intelligence coordination that we need at this stage.”
He added, “What has been achieved is a successful step that counts for the Prime Minister, the negotiating delegation and the political forces that agreed on these principles.”
In Kurdish, the President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, welcomed the results of the strategic dialogue between the United States and Iraq.
Barzani said in a tweet on Twitter, “I welcome the results of the strategic dialogue between the United States and Iraq,” considering that “it is an important step towards strengthening the long-term strategic partnership on key issues such as regional stability and economic and cultural cooperation.”
These positions reflect internal Iraqi satisfaction with the results of the dialogue between Baghdad and Washington, except for some armed factions, which reject foreign presence in the country, even companies with economic activity, or those working in securing diplomatic missions.
And political analyst, Wael Al-Shammari, believes that “Iraq after the end of the dialogue round, will be better than before him, and this is due to the calm that prevailed in the country, and almost agreement on the outcomes of the dialogue, to end the current tension, due to the Iranian-American conflict, which is positively reflected on the file The early elections, next October, give the political process good impulses to anchor.”
Al-Shammari added in a statement to “Al-Nour News” that “this agreement is perhaps the first that enjoys the unanimity of the political blocs, whose opinion is reputable, and which represents the components of the Iraqi people, but the armed groups remain, and this new stage of Iraq’s relationship with the United States, which has expanded to include various aspects.” .
There are currently 2,500 American soldiers in Iraq whose tasks are focused on confronting the remnants of ISIS, and the American role in Iraq will change completely to be limited to training and advising the Iraqi army.
Will the Katyusha attacks stop?
The American magazine “Foreign Policy” says that Joe Biden’s designation of the American forces in Iraq as non-combat forces will not prevent armed factions from targeting them, and argued that the move may be dangerously counterproductive.
And she noted in a report published today, Wednesday, that “Last week at the White House, US President Joe Biden told Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi that US combat forces will withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year, but US forces serving in non-combat roles, such as Training, advising and providing intelligence to the Iraqi security forces will remain.”
Although this move appears significant at first glance, the truth is that the vast majority of the 2,500 US troops in Iraq have been serving in non-combat roles for more than a year.
According to the magazine, last Monday’s announcement of the so-called withdrawal was in fact revolving around the change of names, not politics, and was aimed at helping Al-Kazemi appease the elements who oppose the American presence in Iraq, and their supporters among the Iraqis, who will vote in the national elections in October .
While Biden’s announcement was a well-intentioned gesture, this ploy did not fool everyone. In two statements issued shortly before and after the Biden and Al-Kazemi meeting, the “Resistance Coordination Committee”, which includes the most Iran-allied factions in Iraq, announced that it would not be fooled by a ploy. Re-name. According to the same magazine.
Is there a target for non-combat forces?
The armed factions say that they do not refuse to keep advisers from the United States, to train Iraqi forces, as needed, and they do not target foreign missions operating in the country. There are no combat forces.
For example, last year a British embassy patrol was subjected to an explosive device detonation, in the center of the capital, Baghdad, when it was on its way to the Green Zone.
A missile attack also targeted the headquarters of the British “G4s” security services company in the Qadisiyah neighborhood, west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, at the end of last year, which caused material damage to the building, without causing casualties.
The company is responsible for the security file at Baghdad International Airport, which gives indications of the nature of the next stage.
In the same year, an explosive device targeted a convoy of the United Nations Mission (UNAMI) when it was on its way to Nineveh Governorate, in the north of the country, without causing any human damage.
The repeated bombing of Balad Air Base, which is devoid of the American presence, changed the Lockheed Martin company, which specializes in maintaining and maintaining aircraft, and it is contracted with the Iraqi government, to train local cadres, and prepare aircraft, to carry out flights, but what it was exposed to That company, from frequent bombing with Katyusha missiles, forced it to leave the country, leaving the Iraqi planes to an unknown fate, as most of the flights were disrupted, especially since Iraq relies on it to bomb ISIS hideouts in remote and mountainous areas.
The bombing of that base and the subsequent leaving the country by the company became clear evidence that these factions do not target combat forces only, and that foreign consultants and companies are among the targeting list.
It is clear from the above that the relationship between Iraq and the United States has expanded its scope more than the military, to include economic, educational, cultural, and other matters, which means that the Iraqi government should take advantage of that relationship and achieve great gains for the Iraqi people from it.
Militarily, the American withdrawal is not clear, as it cannot be that 2500 soldiers are on an advisory and training mission, in addition to the fact that those forces, upon their arrival from the United States, were on a clear combat mission. Since 2014, she has been on a combat mission, so how overnight she turns to training and consulting.
Others ask, how does a combat soldier become, in one moment, a trainer and an advisor, and how does the combat force that fought ISIS, on another mission, declare through a decision taken by the White House, which raises question marks on the American decision, which was confirmed by the armed factions, Which demands that the US forces leave the country in substance and not as a form, which means that Iraq is on the verge of another escalation, because the conditions of the armed factions have not been met, and this escalation has a reflection on the service and humanitarian situation and the economic reality.
Question and answer.. All about the “withdrawal agreement” between Iraq and the United States
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