Iraq PM Rejects Any Permanent Foreign Bases in Iraq

Acting Pentagon chief aims to reassure PM about US plans

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has made a visit to Iraq to try to placate an Iraqi government which is increasingly disquieted by US  talk of staying in Iraq. President Trump recently said the US “might as well” stay and use it to watch Iran.

Iraqi PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi was quick to warn Shanahan during the visit that Iraq has no intention of allowing any permanent foreign bases in Iraq. US plans to stay, it seems, aren’t a real option.

Shanahan insists that the US has a “limited role” the intend to stick to in Iraq, and that the US will remain in the country by invitation. How long will that invitation last?

That’s not clear at all, as several Iraqi political blocks are pushing Abdul-Mahdi for a formal timeline for the end of the US presence. With ISIS effectively defeated, Iraqi MPs see little reason for a large US military presence to remain.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.