The Obama administration will begin talks with the Iraqi government on a new long-term defense agreement that may include an expanded number of U.S. troops, according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s chief policy aide.
“One of the things we’re looking forward to doing is sitting down with the Iraqis in the coming month or two to start thinking about how they want to work with” the U.S. military, Michele Flournoy said.
The U.S. completed a “withdrawal” of most of the troops from Iraq in December after the Maliki government and the Iraqi parliament rejected repeated Obama administration proposals to keep a large contingency force there for the foreseeable future. Obama then dishonestly tried to take credit for ending the unpopular war and occupation.
That Obama would try to take credit for the withdrawal even as the U.S. was essentially kicked out was bad enough. But now it seems the administration simply waited for the lie to be written into the history books, only to dump more troops in once the dust settled.
In order to put more troops in, the Obama administration has had to be very supportive of the Maliki regime, despite a dramatic and violent turn towards dictatorship. American money and weapons continue to flow to Maliki, even as he dismantles the press, attacks political opponents, uses excessive force towards political dissent, and conducts mass arrests and widespread torture.
The U.S. wants extra troops in Iraq for several reasons, foremost of which is to serve as bulwark against neighboring Iran, recently the target of increasing aggression. The long-standing American tradition of propping up brutal client states in order to implement imperial designs seems to be repeating once again in Iraq.