The US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue will be held in Washington today between Iraqi and US officials with expectations from both sides
The US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue will be held in Washington today between Iraqi and US officials with expectations from both sides for a positive restructuring of bilateral relations.
Iraq has for months been mired in political chaos and instability and only recently formed a national government under new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Tensions between Washington and Baghdad have been on the rise since January after a US drone attack on a convoy in Baghdad killed former Iranian Revolutionary Guard major general Qassem Soleimani.
A major component of the talks today will consider US efforts aimed at diminishing Iran’s influence in Iraq as part of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign. For Iraqi policymakers, the focus is expected to be the question of whether to request the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq or to seek to keep those troops in country until the Islamic State has been completely defeated and ousted from the country; Iraqis are sharply divided on the issue.
A full troop withdrawal from Iraq would empower both Iran’s hardline regime and regional extremists as well as undermine US strategic influence in the Gulf. Consequently, both Washington and Baghdad are likely to agree on continued US support for Iraqi security forces in the medium to long term.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.