When US troops left Iraq’s cities, they didn’t go far. They set up shop in bases all along the outskirts as part of an attempt to “encircle” the cities and return at a moment’s notice whenever the Iraqi military called. The only thing is, they’re not calling.
In fact, in the first two weeks since the US pullback, the Iraqi military hasn’t asked for help even once. For a 131,000-strong US force that is used to going where it wants and doing what it wants, the loss of control is disconcerting to say the least.
But for the Iraqis, its an essential chance to demonstrate their own capabilities. Not only have they not sought to enlist US help, they have actually declined to grant permits to US forces to patrol inside Baghdad. In Mosul, a US patrol was so unwelcome on its arrival at a local police station that the police are actually saying the visit constituted a violation of the security pact.