Talks in June give hope for US-Iraq ties

Top officials from the United States and Iraq meet mid June for strategic talks. Photo: Leon McCarron.
The US-Iraq talks next month may be the last opportunity to save the dysfunctional partnership between Washington and Baghdad.

John Hannah | Senior Counsellor
Maseh Zarif | FDD Action
May 12, 2020
The United States and Iraq next month engage in a ‘strategic dialogue’ that will discuss their bilateral relationship including the presence of US forces.
With Iraq now serving as ground zero in the escalating confrontation between the US and Iran, there is probability of the US-Iraqi relationship coming to a head. That is a good thing, US President Donald Trump’s administration should ensure it does.
It is high time Washington reassessed its Iraq policy. Over the past year, the relationship has grown increasingly dysfunctional from the standpoint of US interests.
Iraqi security services have brutally killed hundreds of innocent civilians for peacefully protesting the government’s rampant failings.
Iran has systematically exploited the Iraqi economy to circumvent US sanctions. Worst of all, Iranian-backed militias—some sanctioned by the US, most on Baghdad’s payroll—have conducted several rocket attacks against US troops, diplomats, and private-sector actors, with the Iraqi government holding no one to account.
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